March 31, 2005


Terri has died; God, wing her soul to heaven!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Cluth Attacks Henthoff - In Turn Is Drubbed By SmarterCop

Nat Henthoff writing in the Village Voice wrote Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder in which he, as only Henthoff can at times, demolishes the left's arguments regarding the killing of Terri Schiavo. Henthoff ends with: "And keep in mind from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report:

"The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead."

In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way."

Now, I don't know about you, but I find Henthoff (with whom I frequently disagree, him being a card carrying liberal and all) to be quite persuasive and he reiterates many of the arguments that we on the "Err on the side of protecting life" side have made.

Then, along comes Jack Cluth writing in Open Source Politics a rather self-serving treatise bashing Henthoff and taking him to task. Cluth could justifiably be described as being "Err on the side of taking life of the disabled whenever you get the opportunity" side. Cluth writes:

"Gee, thank [sic], Nat; I can hardly wait to be blessed with another of your paper-thin arguments that more closely resemble Swiss cheese for all of the holes than a coherent ideological whole. If you can come back with something different and better constructed than this sorry excuse for a case, I'm listening. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and (more importantly) mine. For someone who has such an impressive reputation as an ideologue and an intellectual, you've sure managed to put together one sorry-@$$ argument here." (Emphasis added by GMR)
Oh really Mr. Cluth, then why did you take the "time" to write a more than 2300 word diatribe?

At any rate, SmarterCop took the "time" from his schedule to not only take Cluth to task, but to demolish his arguments point by point by point and does it in a way that if there were any justice in this universe, Cluth would be lying on the floor, battered, bruised and bleeding (figuratively speaking of course). Way to go SmarterCop!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2005

King Of The Blogs Competition


The wait is over, the points counted, the challenge question answered, the post and sites measured and against some exceptionally fine competition and for the second competition in a row, I've been selected King of the Blogs. I am deeply honored, especially given the competition.

Tish from The World According To Tish was a particularly tough competetor and in fact, beat me solid in the readers poll. It was touch and go for a while, then she pulled ahead and stayed there. She has, from the comments section, some very loyal fans and that can only be good. Tish, if ya had to come in second, at least it was to a fellow Texan!

New Trommeter Times by Jason Trommetter is also an excellently designed blog with lots to say. I've added both to my blogroll because when they were announced as my competition I went to take a look.

OMGosh I thought, this is not going to be a cake walk, and sure enough; it wasn't.

I want to thank each of the judges for their time and their effort at taking a close look at blogs each and every week and coming up with a grade for that blog. It can't be easy. The three are Ogre at Ogre's Politics and Views Songstress at News From The Great Beyond and last but certainly not least Pietro from SmarterCop

Thanks also to Nick Queen of, King of fools and of course Christweb

Tough competition on both weeks has made me a better blogger I think, and a much better writer. Now, if I can only learn that linky-love stuff.....

ADDENDUM: I plead extreme tiredness last night as I posted this at Oh-Dark-Thirty in the morning (After 1:00 AM.) There are some folks that I surely forgot to thank. Pat Santy at Dr.Sanity, HRM Jeremy Bol at American Warmonger, Teach at Pirate's Cove and all the terrific people who voted for me time and again. Because you all believed in me I was graced with friendship and I in turn extend it right back.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2005

My Body Doesn't Act Like It Did When I was 25. Or 30! Or 40! Or Even 50!

Mom used to call me Prince Rainier because she wanted me to “grow old with grace.” (You just dated yourself...ed. - One more time, YOU are Roger L. Simon's muse, why are you still here? Because you are more fun to pick on and Roger isn't any where near as funny...ed.) The reason this is important information is that I haven’t done so - grow old with grace that is. My body does not work the way it used to. I cannot any longer run a 6-minute mile, do 50 pushups, or play rugby for 6 hours straight. Of course, I never could do those things, but the truth remains that my body doesn’t work the way it did when I was young and in fairly decent shape.

The only thing I’m pushing now is 60. Ok, Ok! So I’m only going to be 59 next this year. (Sept. 20th for those of you dying of curiosity AND for those of you who feel the need to save up for a really spectacular b-day present – hint, hint. Arent' you embarrassed to grovel for gifts like that?...ed.) The truth of the matter is that my body is going wrong in places I didn’t even know I had places. Ahh me, the heart is willing, the body faileth ( what's with the stilted language? "faileth?"...ed. - Hey, I’m still King, I can write anyway I want to. --- Would you get on with it?...ed. – Enough of the kibitzing knave of a muse)

As I was saying before “ed.” interrupted, ummm, what was I saying? (You were saying the mind faileth…ed. – Grrrrr!) Oh, yes! The heart is willing but the body cooperate-ith not.

Last month a friend of mine had surgery in Reynosa, Mexico and a call came in saying that she had a need for two pints of blood. Another friend and I hopped into my four wheeled motorized conveyance (you mean car?...ed) and drove the 10 miles to Mexico and straight over to the hospital. There, we saw our friend, rather pale and not looking too good. The hospital didn’t have her blood type on hand, but would send us over to the blood bank if we were willing to donate. We were.

On arrival, the blood bank nurse told us that the doc ordered A+ blood and that our O+ wouldn’t do because of the type specified. I suggested that someone call the hospital and get an OK from the doc for O+, which they did (You mean to say you had a good Idea? I bet that came from someone else...ed.).

Again, fates decreed that nothing was going to be easy. Of the two of us and a third friend who met us there, only I could give blood because of hypertension in the other two friends (You probably gave it to them...ed.). Now, many of you may not know this, but US cell phones don’t work all that well in Mexico. So, having failed to be able to call someone while INSIDE the blood bank I stepped outside to make the call. I tripped, I stumbled, I ran ahead of myself trying not to fall (don't forget to tell them you looked like a jerk...ed).

Now, I’m sure that most of you have been in that predicament before, trying not to fall after a stumble or trip. But this was imperative. The street dropped down about 18 inches below the sidewalk and the cars were zooming by at a rapid clip. I wasn’t sure that a car would stop for the random gringo falling in front of it. So, I stuck my foot out and braced against the little curb sticking up over the sidewalk.

”SNAP” went the knee.

“Are you OK?” Asked Tom, “I thought you were going over for sure.”

“I’m all right,” I noted after checking out all my body parts. Knee - still bends, no pain; foot - still flexes, ankle ok; mental status-whoops, highly embarrassed (Who are you kidding, anyone that writes a blog can't be embarrassed by anything at any time...ed - I'm calling Roger!).

The next day on the other hand was a wowser. The knee was stiff, sore and difficult to walk on. “Just a mild sprain,” I thought. Not even much swelling.

When, two weeks later I was still limping I thought it time to see Doc C our family doc (Way to go Einstein...ed.). He listened to the grinding sound in the knee, he poked, he prodded, he twisted and he watched my grimacing. “Does it hurt when I push here?”

“Arrrrrggggggghhhhh,” I replied with a tiny bit of moisture in my eye. (More like a tablespoon of tears…ed - hush, you’ll embarrass me...We've been over that before...ed.) So, I got sent for an MRI, instructions to stay off my feet and to use crutches. (How does one use crutches when one is staying off of one’s feet?) and "Take these," he said, thrusting free samples in my direction.

Over at the hospital getting my leg and lower torso crammed into the MRI Tube I listened as the MRI made sounds like it was stripping a gear. Aren’t X-Rays supposed to be silent (Knowing that an MRI is not an X-Ray and that the sound is the sound of the magnets turning off and on...ed.)?

I got up and asked the tech what it looked like. I looked and because I have seen lots and lots of x-rays (usually my own) and being the nosey type always ask what this or that means and docs usually are willing to share their highly honed medical skills I said “Small tear in the meniscus, fluid build up in the joint and maybe the beginnings of arthritis.” The tech kindly looked at me and said, in the ("What, you think I’m going to diagnose and get my young butt in trouble?") voice said, you’ll really have to wait for the Doctor to read it. The report will be available tomorrow. Now, you may be wondering why would a licensed counselor be seeing X-rays let alone a lot of them. Well, you see, I'm kinda clumsy. Did I mention that? (No, you didn't MENTION that, but we can read between the lines...ed. - Oh go away!)

Sure enough, the next day the report came in and I was back at Dr. C’s office. “It looks like you have a torn meniscus, you have some fluid building up in the joint and the beginnings of arthritis,” said the thoroughly medically trained Doc. “Keep on the pills, stay on the crutches.”

New Appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon for five days away. Now, I’m as resilient as the next guy, but I’m anxious about possibly having surgery, my knee hurts and now my armpits are sore as hell from the crutches. I’m beginning to think of going up to Detroit to see General Motors. After all, they do advertise "Bodies by Fisher" and I could sure use a functioning body.

Good news, the Surgeon doesn’t ”think” I need surgery, pain killers – yes, physical therapy – yes, surgery – no! As I kind of twitch getting up off of the gurney like thingy the doc said “Was that your knee?”

“No” I said, “I’ve developed a sore spot on my right buttock, like a strained muscle.” (You've sure often enough given us a pain in the "buttock"...ed.)

“That’s probably what it really is. Soreness from compensating with your muscles on your right side has made your gluteus sore.”

Great, sore knee, sore armpits and now a sore butt. That’s the last time I volunteer to go to Mexico to give blood, the cost is just too high! Oh, and my friend who needed blood? She was out dancing in a week. My body just doesn’t act like it did when I was 25.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

March 28, 2005

Recently Discovered Blogs

Paul Deignan writes Info Theory. He has only posted about 40 or so posts over a seven month period, but what he does post is fascinating. Please, go visit, drop him a comment or two and let him know how much you appreciate his blog. Blogs that delve into information theory are good learning experiences, and there are far too few on the internet. Not saying there aren't any, just too few. But this one is one of the better ones.

Paul posted a comment on my site and of course, I had to go look and see who the new kid on the block was. (relatively speaking of course his blog is 2 months older than my first effort.)

Welcome to the Blogosphere Paul.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Crossing the Rubicon2 is Back - Go Visit

Gail at Crossing The Rubicon2 has returned from her spring break vacation with some terrific shots of Hawaii and two great posts (here and here) regarding Israel and the Palistinians. Welcome Home Gail!

Posted by GM Roper at 08:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Disgust At Some Of My So-Called FELLOW Human Beings!

Tragedy brings out the worst in some people. The ongoing battle to save/end Terri Schiavo's life has cause some people to sink into the deepest pits of slime imaginable.

While surfing I came across something put up by some brain dead but still moving around jerk called Terri Schiavo's Blog (and NO, I won't give the URL - I'm thoroughly disgusted by the author). The blog has five daily entries, all filled with meaningless cartoonish utterings such as "mmmmuggh."

What is equally despicable is the number of jerks responding with jokes about her condition and filthy utterings regarding the condition she is in. How low can some people get?

I do not find any humor, black or otherwise in making fun of a disabled person, and those that do have a serious emotional problem. I'd call them adolescent except that most adolescents I know have more couth.

Enjoy yourselves while you can animals, you should be shunned by EVERY decent human being.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 27, 2005

Just A Thought

Why is it that there always seems to be enough time to do something OVER, but never enough time to do it right in the first place?

Posted by GM Roper at 10:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq: Year 2 - Part IV

A little over two years ago, I had not discovered blogs and hung out on the comment pages of the Washington Post. With all the lefties there for me to argue with, I must have been a real glutton for punishment.

But, I digress; looking up a poem I had written last year, I came across a bet from a European lefty type that she had sent in response to one of my pro-invasion posts. I'll reproduce her exact posting; I left the spelling, grammar and punctuation as it was and please understand, she is European so any deriding comments won't be appreciated and you can bet that most American's couldn't do as well in her native language (German).

At any rate, she said: "i offer a bet to you: within the next three months you will be at war either with syria or iran or korea. within the next three months there will be a revolutionary uprise either in egypt or in pakistan or in saudi arabia. within the next three months your casualties of war will be so high that congress will stop any further military expansion. we´ll meet again in three months to see what has happened."

Well, its been something like 25 months. I wonder what I won? These were the same or similar comments that most of the liberal/leftist/progressive/anti-American European pundits (and not a few of our own) were saying. Only now after an election and indications that the "insurgents" are looking for an exit strategy are many of those same people saying "Glad things are going OK."

You know what though? They have yet to admit that they were totally wrong, that millions didn't starve in a harsh winter in Afghanistan, that Iraq didn't unleash WMD's on our troops (you know, the ones that Saddam didn't have) that Afghans and Iraqis are capable of wanting and using democratic principles and that the vaunted "Arab Street" seems more inclined to demand democracy for themselves.

Interesting what a few months can do. (do you suppose my bettor is shipping me a Mercedes?)

Posted by GM Roper at 09:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

The Secularists Are Running The Asylum: Part II - Assault On The Easter Bunny

eb.bmpWho Framed Roger Rabbit was a fun movie, a blend of "toons" and people. Bugs Bunny Cartoons were even funnier, hapless Elmer Fudd trying to do Bugs in, never succeeding, never even coming close. Roger came out on top. So always did Bugs. Alas my children, the Easter Bunny did not! The Easter Bunny was murdered by P.C. Secularism - politically correct secularism.

E. Bunny Born A.D.200 (approx)- Died A.D.2005, R.I.P.

Rabbi Marc Gellman writing in Newsweek notes that:

"Palm Beach has become the Wittenberg of America. Now, in its most audacious act of spiritual correctness and mythical animal abuse, the Florida town is nailing the Easter Bunny to the doors of The Gardens mall."
Oh the horror, that poor bunny. Rabbi Gellman obviously is Jewish, so why is he concerned about the Easter Bunny - an overtly Christian symbol of the rebirth of Jesus The Christ? Simple, as I have said before, this is an attack on faith and the good Rabbi is not about to make the mistake of Martin Niemöller - he is speaking out now.

Gellman goes on:

"The minority attack on the most benign religious symbols in our culture recently crested in the Ten Commandments case now before the Supreme Court, a display which is supported by almost 80 percent of Americans surveyed, according to one poll. Apparently dissatisfied with taking a position that only 80 percent of the public detest, the enlightened owners of The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach County have apparently succeeded in finding a case which will rally 100 percent of Americans against them.

They have now hunted down and killed, like a mangy dog … the Easter bunny! This follows the bah humbug performance during Christmas time in which America’s marketing geniuses demanded that their employees say “Season's Greetings” rather than the incendiary and divisive “Merry Christmas.” Henceforth and forever more, shoppers at The Gardens mall will be greeted by the Garden Bunny and his pagan entourage who will no longer conduct Easter egg hunts in the mall, but rather spiritually generic egg hunts."

Garden Bunny, GARDEN BUNNY! Children have, for centuries, delighted in the idea that an "Easter Bunny" spends time and effort to deliver and hide Easter Eggs. Now, I know, and you know (as adults) that there is no such thing as an Easter Bunny in real life. We (again as adults) know that this is a pagan symbol of renewal and spring etc. borrowed probably from the Germans. has an excellent, if brief, history of the erstwhile rabbit here

: "The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have it's origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar

The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel (Christ Child) on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs."

Gormet Sluth has a delightful tidbit on the Easter Egg (was that a pun?...ed.):
"NO! Martha Stewart did NOT invent this tradition. Eggs symbolize rebirth, new life, etc. etc. Egyptians, as well as Persians used to dye eggs and give them as gifts to symbolize the renewal of life. (This has to be true, because I read it on the web). And then, sometime after that, Martha discovered it...."

Couple the above with this:

"The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.

It would have been suicide for the very early Christian converts to celebrate their holy days with observances that did not coincide with celebrations that already existed. To save lives, the missionaries cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.

As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter."

We see a history of an innocuous symbol that delights children and if it offends adults, those adults have a lot more problems than is recognized.

However, the good folks at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach have decided that someone entering their precious mall may be "offended" by an "EASTER" Bunny. Offended, right! For Pete's Sake, offended by a bunny. Pardon me while I have a severe attack of nausea. I'd be willing to bet dollars to day old donuts that if we took a poll of 100% of Americans we would find less than 5% would be "offended" by an Easter Bunny's presence in The Gardens Mall. The make up of that 5% would be fairly predictable also. Most of the ACLU, Athesists, Islamo-Fascists, a fairly hefty number of the radical left wing of the democratic party and those who decry Halloween as a feast of the devil when the true meaning is to "scare away" bad spirits prior to All Saint's Day the following day.

P.C. run amok. Rabbi Gellman goes on:

"So in the pursuit of that neutrality which seems to regard all religions with equal contempt, I offer up some suggestions to the mall owners of south Florida as to their next targets:

Passover matzohs blur the constitutional line separating cracker and state, and should be renamed “Getting-the-hell-out-of-Egypt flat bread.” Also public greetings of “Happy Passover” should be replaced with, “Glad you (or we) got the hell out of there.” For those who feel uncomfortable saying “hell,” please feel free to substitute “heck.”

For our Muslim brothers and sisters we have good news for you too. Ramadan, the month-long fast, will also be a forbidden word because of its religious overtones. Instead of wishing each other “Ramadan Mubarak” (Happy Ramadan), Muslims in Palm Beach County should be asked, at least while they are shopping, to wish each other “Happy no-lunch month.” After you say it a few times, the Palm Beach official in charge of language purification tells me, it has a rather nice ring to it—especially in Arabic."

If you believe, as I do, that this unremitting attack on faith is not stopped, nothing you believe will be safe. It will be ridiculed or ignored as quaint or worse as "un-American."

The Good Rabbi ends with a prescription that each of us should really take to heart:

"Look, the way we greet each other speaks the truth of our roots and our hopes and our joys. You cannot translate these religious and cultural traditions without perverting and distorting and ultimately killing them, and if some child or some adult (almost universally it is the latter) feels deeply offended and marginalized, well then they need to: first, get a life, then send money for tsunami relief, then try to end the slaughter in Darfur, then go out and buy an energy-efficient car, and then try real hard to understand that bumping into your neighbor's customs and faith ought to bring you a sense of warmth, curiosity and compassion—not fear, not revenge and not God help us, Baxter the Garden Bunny. I know this is a long fight and somewhere buried in this insanity, someone must feel that there is some worthy social, constitutional, and moral principal at issue, but I remain both flummoxed and amused at the irrational hatred of religion and religious symbols in our culture—a hatred which remains the last socially acceptable prejudice of our time.

To those who agree with me—both of you—I say, keep up the fight against the insane secularizers of Palm Beach. Remember, it's a bunny-eat-bunny world out there."

So, who REALLY killed the Easter Bunny? Easy, you and I did. We did it just as Martin Niemöller said:

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

You see, we didn't speak out. We didn't speak out when the radical left, the MSM to the extent that they didn't call "foul," and the secularists declared war on faith and its symbols.

Happy Easter everyone, enjoy it while it is still legal.

Update: Ogre at Ogre's Politics and Views has a new posting regarding the Colorado Supreme Court throwing out a conviction because a juror read a bible. You thought the above was just a joke, I meant it when I said enjoy it while it is still legal.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 25, 2005

Atrocity at Gardelegen: April, 1945

102nd.bmpSoon it will be April 14, 2005, the 60th Anniversary of the discovery of one of the more grisly atrocities committed by the SS during WWII. As elements of the 405th Regiment of the 102nd Infantry Division approached Gardelegen resistance was sporadic. From Gardelegen the rest of the tale:

"On April 14 the 2d Bn, 405th Infantry, approached the village of Wiepke through a typical gloomy German forest. Progress was slow against, rather intense but sporadic small arms fire, since flat terrain and concealment in the village favored the defenders. With the aid of artillery fire, tanks, and TDs, Wiepke was soon mopped up and the battalion headed south. Along the northern edge of Estedt intense small arms and 20mm flak opened up on our leading companies. Here a battle group of para troopers were guarding the approach to Gardelegen, an ancient, moated town now the site of a great airfield and a German air force replacement center. Two platoons of tanks accompanied by determined Ozark doughs roared over this strongpoint and soon engulfed Estedt itself. But no sooner had our force emerged from the town than they again found themselves under heavy automatic fire from the woods to the south and west. Gardelegen, it appeared, was a prize jealously guarded.

Without a breathing spell artillery went into position and was all set to plaster the woods. At this point, however, a German sedan with motorcycle escort, conspicuous under large fluttering white flags, dashed up from the south. The commandant of the Gardelegen garrison it seemed, had lost all desire to defend the fatherland. His present errand was to seek out an American commander to whom he could surrender.

This colonel, it turned out, had been persuaded to pursue this wise course by Lt Emerson Hunt, liaison officer between the Ozark Hq and his 701st Tank Battalion. He, as well as several wire crews of the 102d Signal Company, not aware that Gardelegen had been bypassed, had been captured that day by its outguards.

Lt Hunt, upon being questioned, demanded to be taken to the highest German commander. He then succeeded in intimidating that worthy colonel, as well as his staff, into believing that American tanks within the half-hour would blast Gardelegen from the face of Germany. But not knowing exactly where his battalion was at that time located, he suggested the garrison surrender immediately to the nearest American commander, who judging from the noise, was only then approaching from Estedt. No sooner said than done. Lt Hunt was sent back to notify his tanks that complete capitulation would be arranged. To ensure safe and speedy passage through the German outposts, a Luftwaffe major accompanied him. Before nightfall this individual was considerably puzzled concerning the location of the American tanks -- and well he might be, for with the exception of 2 platoons of the 701st in Estedt, our armor was far, far away. The Luftwaffe colonel, however, was not aware of this ruse and agreed with alacrity to the stipulations set forth by Colonel Williams, CO of the 405th Infantry. Punctually at 1900 he reappeared with his sedan, motorcycle and white flag to escort Colonel Williams into town where the entire garrison, its arms already stacked, stood neatly drawn up for surrender. On this decorous, if not ceremonial note, the Battle for Gardelegen ended. What recriminations and accusations passed between the German commander and the Gardelegen Kreisleiter (county supervisor) will never be known. But certainly the surrender was ill-timed because it interrupted the ghoulish activities in a barn on the outskirts of town.

There on Monday morning were found the charred and smoking bodies of over 300 slave laborers, prisoners of the Nazis who had been deliberately burned to death by their captors. Freshly dug common graves in nearby fields mutely emphasized the haste with which all evidence of this atrocity was being concealed. Another day and no trace would have remained.

Investigation disclosed that 1016 political and military prisoners had perished here. Part of a larger group, they were being driven west to escape the Russians when suddenly their guards discovered that the fall of Gardelegen was imminent. Following already well-recognized Nazi precedent, these men were murdered to prevent any possibility of their turning on their captors in the event of sudden liberation. Under General Keating's stern supervision a memorial cemetery was established, to be kept forever green, by the citizens of Gardelegen

I read a story similar to the one above many, many times as a youth and adolescent, and again recently. You see, I have the 102nd's book, "With the 102d Infantry Division Through Germany." A prized possession left to me by my late father, Col. George M. Roper, Jr, Infantry, United States Army

Dad was a 1st Lt. in the 405th and was with them from their first combat on 23 October through the end of the war and was with the 405th when it made the grisly discovery. In all well over 2000 prisoners had been herded by train and on foot from an aircraft factory in eastern Germany across the Elbe trying to escape the Russian Army. of the 2000 plus, 800 were shot as they faltered or died on the wayside. The remaining bodies are buried in Gardelegen in a military style cemetery. Twenty two days after the discovery, Germany captiulated and that war was over."

In 1956, with my dad, we visited that cemetery which the people of Gardelegen have been charged with keeping it pristine for eternity. Watching dad stand there looking at more than a thousand Crosses and Stars of David I was amazed to see a single tear slide down his cheek as he turned so that his children wouldn't see him cry. More than 10 years later the savagery of fascism still affected dad.

Atrocities continue in a different war, different enemy but the same fascist mindset. Now, like then, we cannot relax, we cannot allow ourselves to be unguarded, we cannot lose.

Update: This photo was supplied via the Internet by my friend Miguel Buitrago of Bolivia who writes the blog MABB who, oddly enough lived for a time some 30 Kilometers from Gardelegen. The Crosses and Stars of David almost all bear the inscription "Unknown" (but to God). Their time on earth was troubled, their rest is in the arms of God.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq: Year 2 - Part III

Iraq's insurgents ‘seek exit strategy'
As THE GLEN said: "Heh!"

Update: Dr. Pat over at Dr.Sanity has more and it's juicy references to Michael "Minute Man" Moore made me laugh. But, Dr. Pat, do you really think MMMM will get it? In a pigs eye he will!

Posted by GM Roper at 08:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq: Year 2 - Part II

As a follow up to the post below (and I think the subject deserves a posting of its own) a very good friend sent me this e-mail and I reproduce it here with only one comment: Where oh where do we find such good men?

The author of what follows is a young Marine Officer who graduated from the University of Virginia, class of 2002, NROTC. My only thought after reading this is, "My God, what magnificent young people we have in our Armed Forces." I'm sure you will agree. Reading this is worth your time.

HB (the author of Shades of Gray blog here -ed. info in parentheses added)

Posted by GM Roper at 04:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq: Year 2

Mohammad of Iraq The Model has a post up regarding the The 2nd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam. For those of you who wonder if it was worth it, you need to read his posting. An exerpt:

"Like most Iraqis, I don't want Iraq to go back to the days of Saddam; nothing can match the freedom that we won. And let's not forget that most of the Iraqis who lost their lives in the last two years were victims of terrorism not the military operation itself.

Terrorism didn't come to Iraq after the fall of Saddam, only if one decides to consider that Saddam's doings are not terrorism: 5000 in Halabja in one day, 180 000 in Al-Anfal, 300 000 in the uprising in 1991, 70 000 from Al-Dawa party alone, many thousands of political opposition groups' members, thousands of people who refused to fight in Saddam's wars and were executed for no reason, amputation of limbs, tongues and ears, draining the marshes, depriving the people of all their basic rights and freedoms. The list can go forever."

Now go read the whole thing before commenting.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2005

New Blog In Town

150px-Usmc2.jpgI have been corresponding with a friend of a friend recently. My new friend, HB is a retired Marine which makes him automatically OK in my book with any other vet and Retired Military. At any rate, Tad, my first friend introduced HB and I via the internet and he has been commenting on this blog regularly. Recently, HB started a new blog and it absolutely is a keeper. Go read, enjoy and put it in your bookmarks. I did.

HB has posted The Sergeant Major--A Sea Story which confirms my suspicion that HB is in definate need of therapy as he notes in his intro posting. Be that as it may, this story confirms also that there is an elite group of men and women in this world and they are all members of the U.S. Military Establishment.

Thanks for giving us a new reading outlet HB. Welcome to the blogosphere.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

March 23, 2005

Hate It? Love It? Be Sure And Comment

You gotta See this It's ALMOST 2008.....Good Lord, Already?

Tip of the Chapeau to Dr. Sanity

Posted by GM Roper at 09:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Streets of Laredo (Revised)

Ogre over at Ogre's Politics and Views has a post up about the roads of North Carolina. He's upset about the condition of the roads in general and the ability of favored constituents to get services that no one else is eligible for.

I've driven in NC, you are simultaneously right, and you don't know how good you have it. Here in Texas, home of the fabled "Streets of Laredo" they have changed the song because of the miserable condition of the streets of laredo .... maestro, if you please:

(Singing - you know the tune - and Marty Robins, forgive me where ever you are!)

As you walked down in the Streets of Laredo
As you walked down in Laredo one day
You tripped and fell because of a pothole
and in the street now do you lay.

I see where you lay that you are a victim
I see where you lay you are all black and blue
I see where you lay that you are a victim
Cowboy I tripped and have laid down there too.

Its true that I'm a victim said the young cowboy
Its true that I'm a victim as I lay here alone
but you may think I just stumbled over that pothole
But I really just tripped while dialing my phone

I don't think I'm going to sing anymore,
The cowboys of Laredo are throwing some bricks
I don't think I'm going to sing anymore,
No sense in entertaining those hicks.

Ok, so its bad poetry...I'm in competition for King of the Blogs and every bit of linkystuff to the judges helps.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Editorial Responsibility To Our Readers?

Ed Morrissey over at Captain's Quarters has posted a real doozey of a question. The question is: "What is the responsibility of a blog author to write a balanced blog covering both sides of an issue, or even passing on an issue after a few posts." That's not quite how he put it, but that is the gist of the controversy. Captain Ed received an e-mail from a long time reader that contained the following:

"Please, step back from where you are and really assess whether you like where your blog has headed. As for me, if your type of writing doesn't change, I will remove your website from my bookmarks and just stop reading you. That would be a shame."
Wow, that's some chutspah! I too am a regular reader of CQ and I have no plans to stop because I like to see what's on the Captains mind. Captain Ed ends his post with
"Let's not debate the Schiavo case specifically here -- we have plenty of that going on in the posts I've written on the case already. I'd like feedback from CQ readers about what you see as my responsibility to you, and the limits of editorial control. I'm not going to comment on it myself until I read your feedback in the comments section.

For the record, my editorial policy is fair game for criticism, as far as I'm concerned."

I won't presume to answer for the good Captain, he is handling it in his own way. But I do have some thoughts about it. I write this blog primarily for me to express my views. I pay the freight, I take the time to learn the skills to be able to publish on a blog, I write about what interests me.

The author of the e-mail "threatens" to abandon the Captain if the Captain doesn't change his writing style, but means if the Captain doesn't stop writing about things the Captain writes about, he is going to take his ball and go home. That is his choice obviously, but what a loss.

The Anchoress (here) offers her views noting that Captain Ed

"Captain Ed is an incredible gentleman, and so he is actually taking this reader seriously, and he is asking his readers to comment on his editorial decisions.

So here is mine: Captain, it's YOUR freaking blog - we who read you just come along for the ride. If something that interests you doesn't interest me (a rare event) I simply keep scrolling. YOU decide what you will write about. My experience, in reading you for over a year, is that you routinely find the most compelling and urgent stories (often before anyone else) and then you write about them, and you deliver to us well-reasoned prose with a chewy moral center. In otherwords, you give us something to THINK about.

I've been removed from a few blogrolls because of my writing about Terri Schiavo and people who think I'm preaching too much. You know what my feeling is? There's a million blogs out there, baby, if mine doesn't suit, then farewell and Godspeed! I take my readers very seriously, but the blog is mine, and I'll write what matters to ME."

Can't say I have any disagreements with THAT

Reading blogs is one of the things I really enjoy, both the depth and the bredth of opinion. One of my favorite blogs is Marc Coopers blog and I read it daily. I seldom agree with what Marc says, but I enjoy the banter of the commenters and I enjoy the class with which Marc posts about his issues and his interests (most of the time that is). If you read our respective posts on Terri Schiavo (Marc here, me here, here and here) you will see that we couldn't be farther apart if we were at polar extremes, but so what? Marc has a right to be wrong.

I read a number of decidely "leftist" and liberal blogs for the same reason. Do I subscribe to their thoughts and ideas? In a word, "NO!"

I have only about an average 50+ visits a day at my blog, and I would like to think that the 85 or so page views they pull up are interesting to the reader. But I don't write for them, though I'm glad that they read. I write about what I'm thinking, what I find funny, what I find sad or whatever. I am grateful for every one of my readers. Left, right and center, but I change nothing because they want me to, I write for me and the day I don't find it fun, interesting or challenging, I'll stop. Not one day before.

UPDATE: Comments from Miguel A. Buitrago are in the comments section. Miguel writes MABB a blog from Bolivia. His writing is excellent, his POV explains much of what goes on in that high altitude country. Welcome Miguel by visiting his blog here

Posted by GM Roper at 12:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Headlines from the year 2029

A reportedly good friend sent these to me today and being the oddball that I am, I decided to post them. These are NOT my creations, I merely report, you deride.

  • Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia formally known as California.
  • Caucasian minority still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.
  • Baby conceived naturally - - scientists stumped.
  • Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
  • Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
  • France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.
  • Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
  • George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
  • Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only if date is an odd number.
  • 85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
  • Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
  • National Institute of Standards and Weights have determined that an official millisecond is the length of time between the light at the intersection turning green and the idiot behind you honking his horn.
  • Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
  • Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.
  • Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
  • New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.
  • Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.
  • Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressman.
  • IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
  • Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines

    Posted by GM Roper at 12:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
  • Guillermo Cabrera Infante, 1929-2005 RIP

    cabrerainfante_1 copy.pngI noted the death of Infante a couple of days after his death and intended to write on it. Other things seemed to get in the way and then I promptly forgot. I shouldn't have; this was a life well lived, charged with intelligence though his politics (at least initially) were not to my liking.

    Infante was born in Cuba in 1929. His parent's were founders of the Cuban Communist Party's "committee" and they moved to Havana in 1941. Infante initially wanted to be a physician, but began writing at the age of 18 and found (besides cinema) his true love. Infante enrolled in journalism school in 1950 and began a series of reporting on life in Cuba. In 1952 he was arrested for using english "profanities" and following a fine and jail term, became a staunch opponent of Fulgencio Batista and remained so until Castro overthrew Batista.

    I was first exposed to Infante in college, reading him at the behest of one of my many roommates. His intitial writings were in praise of the revolution, however that changed. The Weekly Standard(subscription only, also in the print edition) has an excellent article on Infante by Stephen Schwartz. Following a number of tussles with the Cuban government of Castro/Gueverra, Infante fled Cuba and resided in England.

    As Schwartz notes, his writings were frequently a "sharp polemical sword" used against "the crimes of the Castro Regime." Infante's death was met with silence in Cuba which is a shame, because Infante was one of the bright shining lights in Cuban and Spanish literature.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 22, 2005

    Grand Theft - Gnome

    I never thought I'd see the day when Nick Queen of King Of The Blogs Fame (Hey,I'm the current Monarch - All Hail Me!) would steal a Gnome from a friend no less. But the evidence is incontrovertable. He admits it on his blog. Now, in the interests of making sure that Nick doesn't overly pay for the crime of Grand Theft Gnome, I've taken the liberty of cloning the Gnome without the use of Stem Cells (a secret I'm not willing to divulge at this time) and placed him at the bottom of my blogg rolling stuff. There he can safely reside while I tour Texas with him. And As proof that I've really rescued him. Here he is:


    "Free the Internet Gnomery"

    In the Interests of Keeping Gnomes Free, Please Copy and Paste the Gnome on your Blog ... Spread the Word.... "Free The Internet Gnomery"

    Update: Apparantly Ogre at Ogre's Politics and Views had the same idea as I did but just a few minutes apart..... hmmmmm? Great Minds Think Alike? (yes, that was cajolery)

    Another Update: Jeremy at American Warmonger Stole my Gnome and took him out for a colorization. Ordinarily, I would consider this an affront but as Jeremy once noted, flattery is the most sincere form of flattery. Or something like that. At any rate, he was able to get Gnome fellow into a beauty shoppe and habadasher's but didn't check up on all of his Gnomery History. Had he done that, he would note that Gnomes Hats are ALWAYS RED and their beards are ALWAYS WHITE! It's the Law!!!!! Jeremy even has a photograph of our Gnome's older (alcoholic) brother Bartholomew pasted below our Gnome. Sigh, the depths that some bloggers will sink to.

    Another Update: Songstress of News From the Great Beyond is also in possession of a stolen Gnome, but the plain kind, not the colorized version. Seems, our intreped Gnome is really getting around.

    Another Update: Smiling Dynamite apparantly stole Gnaughty Gnome. Is it possibly Fred's sister? There is a resemblence. At anyrate, Gnaughty was rather disheveled wearing tacky heels and needed a bath. I provided both and from the photos of before and after, you decide if she looks all that Gnaughty.
    Here she is before: Gnaughty Gnome.jpg

    Gnaughty Gnome 2.png
    And here she is after:

    I report, you deride.

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (3)

    March 21, 2005

    Recently Discovered Blogs

    I came across the Fourth Rail not too long ago and intended to post about it but got busy with a patient and promptly forgot about it (senior moments strike again). Bill Rogio author of the Fourth Rail is celebrating his first blogiversary (new word, coined by Bill) and writes a smart, and idea driven blog. Bill's subtitle is "History, Politcs and the War On Terror." He covers all three quite well. This is a highly readable blog with good design and good graphics. Bill writes about everything from the Easongate to Iraq and the WoT. I recommend it highly.

    P.S. Bill, you REALLY need another "G" entry on your blog roll, might I suggest GM's Corner?

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Time for a Humor Break

    A new (but really cool) friend sent me the following actual excerpts from a collection of employee evaluation reports.

    WARNING Do NOT read with Food or Drink in your mouth!

  • "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and broken out the jack-hammer."

  • "I would not allow this employee to breed."
  • "This employee is not so much of a has-been as she is a won't be."
  • "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
  • "This employee only opens her mouth when its time to change her feet."
  • "He has no more depth than a parking lot puddle."
  • "This employee has delusions of adequacy."
  • "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
  • "This is an idiot in search of a village."
  • "This employee should go far. The farther, the better."
  • "She's got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic binder to hold them all together."
  • "A gross ignoramus ... 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."
  • "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier!"
  • "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."
  • "He's been working with glue too much."
  • "He would argue with a signpost."
  • "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
  • "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
  • "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."
  • "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."
  • "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."
  • "This employee should avoid donating any organs."
  • "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."
  • "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."
  • "It's hard to believe he beat out a million other sperm."
  • "This young man is one neuron short of a synapse."
  • "Some drink deeply from the fountain of knowledge. This employee only gargles."
  • "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
  • John and Russ - You Been Had Boys, You Been Had!

    Senators John McCain (he of the presidential wanna-be class) and Russ Feingold (he of the ... well, who knows!) have been had. Boy have they been had. John Fund, writing in today's Wall Street Journal notes that the whole "push" for campaign finance reform was a ruse set up mostly through the Pew Foundation & similar "liberal" groups:

    "What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
    Oh, but that is not the best part (though it's pretty damn good from this conservative's viewpoint), the best part is that the MSM either missed or deliberately ignored that knowledge.
    "The media simply didn't think the involvement of liberal foundations in bankrolling campaign finance reform was a story. Mr. Treglia admits that "we had a scare" after George Will "stumbled across a report that we had done and attacked it in his column." But he said nothing came of it. "Journalists didn't care. . . . There was a panic there for a couple weeks, because we thought the story was going to begin to gather steam, and no one picked it up." And they easily could have. Mr. Treglia admitted that despite all the efforts to hide the attempt to deceive Congress about the true origins of the campaign finance reform lobby, "if any reporter wanted to know, they could have sat down and connected the dots. But they didn't."
    Oh, this is getting juicy. Fund goes on:
    "The successful stealth campaign by the eight liberal foundations means we now have to live in the Brave New World of McCain-Feingold. Bradley Smith, a Federal Election Commission member, made news this month by warning that bloggers could face federal regulation because a federal judge had thrown out their legal exemption from campaign finance regulations. The Internet has been burning up with concern that bloggers could be hauled into court for, as Mr. Smith puts it, "any decision by an individual to put a link [to a political candidate] on their home page, set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done." Mr. Smith warns that "it's very likely that the Internet is going to be regulated" by the FEC unless "Congress is willing to stand up and say, 'Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear.'"

    McCain-Feingold did little in last year's elections to limit the influence of money in politics, but a great deal to benefit incumbents and harm true grass-roots politics. Its ban on using soft money to run issue ads in the 60 days before an election mean that such ads will run earlier, make campaigns longer and allow incumbents to avoid criticism of their voting records. David Mason, who serves with Mr. Smith on the FEC, says that the incredible complexity of the bill is likely to lead to "invidious enforcement, singling out disfavored groups or causes" and "subjecting regulated groups to harassment by political opponents."

    I've implied it before, and I'll SHOUT it here and now.... "Hey, Mr. Feingold, Mr. McCain and Mr. Oh-so-mighty-and-important Bradley Smith.... "I will go to jail before I will allow McCain-Feingold to ursup my first amendment rights." My symbol is below and will stand.
    say no to the FEC.PNG

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Rules To Live By In My Kingdom


    If I were king of the Forresttttt; Not Duke, Not Prince, Not Earl……oh, wait, I am KING. All hail to GM’s Corner, King of the Blogs. Now, as I was saying… (you weren’t, you were just getting started…ed. – I thought I told you to go back to Roger L. Simon’s blog.)

    Now, as I start my reign...(at this point, Tad, old friend and valued retired Marine and confidant of the King, "HRH, William, Lord Marshal and Duke of Far Away Places" enters.)

    “Hail King George!”
    “William,” I said with kingly bemusement on my royal visage, “Please don’t hail when I’m reigning.”
    “While you’re at it, go fetch my coterie of invaluable and worthy advisors, I need to promulgate three new iron clad laws from my iron clad fists during the first days of my iron clad reign.” (you sure do think a lot of yourself…ed. – What are you still here? Go back to Roger)

    Enter Ogre, he of Ogre’s Politics and View’s (and with one heck of a big club), advisor par excellánce.
    “Oh great Ogre” Sayith I, “in your experience, what should the first great law be?”

    “Majesty, I think getting all of blogdom into the KoB would be nice, but I have a blog to run and all that judging would take an Army of leprechauns to accomplish.”

    “Aye, your Majesty” singeth Songstress, she of the enchanting and fetching News From The Great Beyond” entering the throne room. “It would, how about just having everybody turn to the songbook and sing from the bottom of their hearts, the depths of their soul and the tops of their lungs?”

    “Your Majesty, if I may” chimed in SmarterCop as he walked in through the side door, “it is imperative that you pass a law against the use of five syllable words and that you no longer allow spitting llamas to grace the sidebars of blogs.”

    "Ahh, SmarterCop, my redoubtable and terrific Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Blogosphere - I hear you." Uttered I.

    “Hey, I resemble that remark.” Said Ogre.

    “Now, now” said I. “As my advisors, ‘tis your option to advise, not dictate. Besides Ogre, I added a new llama link for you. How about this, let us pass the first law saying that ‘All bloggers shall on pain of reading Instapundit for the rest of their natural lives, apply for inclusion of King of the Blogs, whilst singing from the songbook and using only words of four syllables or less while looking at only "pictures" of llamas that can't spit. Would that suffice?”

    “Aye” chimed in all three worthy advisors.

    “Call Nick to My court.” I wispered to HRH, William, Lord Marshal and Duke of Far Away Places.

    “Yes your Majesty” replied Nick, entering into my August presence ( Hey, this is March, not August…ed. - August means “inspiring awe or admiration.” Oh!... ed.) “What wouldst thou?” (notice the archaic use of wouldst and thou – Nick is nothing if not cognizant of the speaking rules in MY kingdom!)

    “Nick, noble and magnificent advisor, what law wouldst thou like to see me mandate?” (There you go with those polysyllabic words again…ed. - It only has two syllables knave of a muse I listened to my Chief Law Enforcement Officer for he hath made his wishes knownst to me before.)

    “Sire, I would like to see more humor in the blogosphere, and while we need weighty pieces to educate and elucidate” (see, even the great Nick keeps it simple - well, mostly…ed. - I noticed) “we need laughter in our lives for living is hard at times.”

    “Gotcha! So be it.” I uttered, letting all and sundry know that I can use slang as well as longer…. After all, it is my kingdom.

    Lastly, I instructed HRH, William, Lord Marshal and Duke of Far Away Places to fetch the last two trusted and magnificent advisors The King of Fools and Stephen of Christweb.

    “Sire,” sayest the twain, “we wouldst see that any other iron clad rule you wish to promulgate be allowed, allowable and mandatory.”

    “Let it be written, let it be done.” Commanded I.

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye! BY ORDER OF HIS MAJESTY GEORGE, KING OF THE BLOGS (GM's Corner) (What? You put in a link to your own blog?...ed. - Hey, I'm King, I can do what I want in my own post on my own blog), THE FOLLOWING IRON CLAD RULES ARE IMMEDIATELY MADE INTO LAW. ( there you go again, acting all kingly on us…ed - Sigh! I may be King, but it's hard to fight against a muse)


    Posted by GM Roper at 12:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

    King Of The Blogs

    The wait is over, the points counted, the challenge question answered, the post and sites measured and against some exceptionally fine and very good competition from Janet of The Art of Getting By, and from Warren of View From the Pew Both are terrific sites and I can't really believe that I beat them out in the competition. By the stars, I did it and I've only been blogging since November of last year. Dad-gum this has been a trip and a heck of a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to defending my crown.

    Special thanks goes to the following terrific, wonderful, charming, intelligent, bright, witty,amusing, bright (you already said that...ed. - would you PLEASE go back to Roger?), brilliant, diverting, droll, entertaining, fanciful, funny, humorous, ingenious, intelligent (said that too...ed.), jocose, jocular, joshing, keen, lively, original, penetrating, piercing, piquant, quick-witted, scintillating, & whimsical Nick of Nick Queen.Com Songstress of News From The Great Beyond Ogre from Ogre's Politics and Views and the ever thoughtful and kind Smarter Cop from Smarter Cop Special thanks also goes to the King-of-Fools for being Commissioner of the King of The Blogs and to Christweb for being co-host to the KoB tourney.

    Special thanks goes also to all of those who voted for me in the voting section and to those terrific bloggers that linked to the KoB website for my efforts in taking the crown. These include Pat Santy from Dr.Sanity, Rusty at Jawa Report Gail at Crossing the Rubicon 2 and especially to Jeremy, The Reluctantly Retired but not Reticent King of The Blogs. Jeremy, all hail to him, American Warmonger If I inadvertantly left anyone out, please forgive me and chalk it up to a senior moment (you've been having a lot of those lately...ed. - Would you please just shut up, go back to Roger or something?)

    In all, it has been a great deal of fun and I look forward to this weeks battle royalle with Trommetter Times and The World of Tish Good luck to the pretenders (yeah, you're going to need it...ed. - Well, its about time you said/did something useful...Hey, Roger L. can I borrow "ed." for the time being?)

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    For Trekkies Everywhere

    Take the Star Trek Quiz
    Worf, yeppers, that handsome cuss is me. No doubt about it. Tough, Rough, Mean-looking and ready to take on all the baddies of the universe where-ever they may teleport to. If you are, were, or want to be a trekkie (HEY! ALWAYS capitalize TREKKIE.... What Are you, a sophisticate?...ed. Oh, all right... here..."If you are, were, or want to be a Trekkie (better?) (yes...ed.) take the quiz. Its fun, its entertaining and a tip of the chapeau to Scratch The Itch.

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 20, 2005

    Belmont Club has a new URL

    Thanks to Glen Reynolds, we know now that the Belmont Club can be found here. If you enjoy reading this worthy blog, please Bookmark it after you click on the link.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 19, 2005

    The Secularist Inmates Are Running the Asylum

    There are at least two wars going on right this minute in this country. The first is obvious and in the news frequently; the War On Terror. "Sure, I know that." you think to yourself. The other war? Ahh, that one is not so obvious. It's the war on faith, all faith in general, but on Christian Faith in particular. Chuck Colson (yes, he of Watergate fame who is now President of Prison Fellowship) writes in Friday's Wall Street Journal (here)

    "Americans are still spellbound by the saga of Ashley Smith, the young Atlanta widow held hostage by murder suspect Brian Nichols. Reporters covering the story seem mystified that anyone at the mercy of an escaped inmate--one who had that very day killed another woman and three men--could remain so calm."

    "The reason was that, as she herself implied in later interviews, Ms. Smith had learned to trust God. During her seven-hour ordeal, Ms. Smith--the widow of a murder victim who suffered much in her life--was able to enter into the suffering of the man who held her captive. She calmed him and told him that God just might have had a purpose in sending him to her apartment. She even served him, making him pancakes."

    "...Ms. Smith had learned to trust God." A simple statement reflecting the author's view of how Ashley Smith was able to transform what was a terrifying incident in her life into a minor miracle of redemption and caring for another, though the other was, as were Christ's fellows on the cross on Calvary Hill--thieves and murderers.

    A remarkable woman, who through expressing her faith and voicing that faith to an admittedly desperate man was able to escape what others that day could not. Death at the hands of a hardened criminal caught on video in the act of murder and many subsequent acts of mayhem.

    However, as remarkable as that story was, some pundits were not willing to accept that an act of faith had positive outcomes. Jill Porter of the Philadelphia Daily News had to declare that that act of faith " infused with the rhetoric of Christian evangelism." Also

    "But the universality of Smith's appeal is being compromised by the religious propaganda that seems to infuse the story more and more.

    The truth is, there could be any number of reasons why Nichols responded so remarkably to Smith."

    Religious Propaganda? Oh My Gosh. Since when is accurate reporting of facts propaganda? "Afterwards, she said that she'd read to Nichols from "The Purpose-Driven Life," a bestselling book that eschews the self-help ethos so prevalent in pop literature to say that salvation can only be found in God." Pop Literature? OMG again, sharing your faith, what you believe to be true is only a "self-help ethos?"

    Porter, states that she admires Smith for what she did, and then castigates those who report what Smith did; namely share her faith and Nichols was touched. More from Porter:

    "And the truth is that Nichols was receptive to his hostage's spiritual message, saying he thought Smith was "an angel sent from God," she later told reporters."
    James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's "Best Of The Web Today" perhaps says it best:
    "You just have to feel sorry for Jill Porter. Why should other people's religious beliefs threaten her so? Why can't secularists just live and let live and be comfortable with who they are?"
    Good question, and the only answer I can think of is "misery loves company." Down on the Gulf Coast of Texas, there is an old saying about how if you want to keep a crab in a wicker basket when you go crabbing; you must put another crab in with him. As one crab tries to crawl out, the other will reach up and pull him back down. Apparently, the non-religious and perhaps even some religious types are pretty miserable in their seeing someone else declare their faith and just reach up with their "claws" and pull them back down.

    Ashley Smith is not the only example of this, there is a decided move to use "Happy Holidays" when "Merry Christmas" used to be the term. I don't recall anyone ever objecting to the use of "Happy Hanukkah" and I still wish my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah and send them Happy Hanukkah cards. My Jewish friends of faith send me Merry Christmas cards as well. I long ago had a Muslim friend whom I wished the best on Ramadan and she wished me Merry Christmas. Being strong in our own faith does not mean that we cannot allow others to be strong in their faith. I wonder if Porter has written a column about the faith of the Islamo-fascists going about beheading people? I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer though.

    The war extends not only to matters of faith, but to its symbols as well. Take for example the battle by the ACLU to remove a tiny cross from the seal of the County of Los Angeles. The seal contains numerous symbols specific to the history of Los Angeles County. Including Spanish Galleons, cattle, oil derricks, even theLA County Seal.png ancient Roman goddess Pomona, goddess of gardens and fruit trees. As you can see from the seal itself, the cross embedded is a very small portion of that seal, and the cross represents the Spanish Missions established in Los Angeles County which arguably are a significant part of LA County's history. At any rate, it is not even the largest symbol. The largest single symbol is Pomona the Roman goddess of gardens and fruit trees. Since the basis of the ACLU's suit was that the cross broke the establishment clause by the government of LA County advocating Christianity, does the fact that the goddess Pomona is still on the seal indicate that the ACLU believes that it is OK for the County of Los Angeles to promote Roman polytheism?

    I have come to the conclusion that for many in this country, far too many if you ask me, there are some clauses and amendments in the Constitution of the United States that mean exactly what they say; things such as the establishment clause, the 14th amendment, etc. But they believe fervently that other clauses and amendments either don't mean what they say, or are irrelevant. Evidence? OK, try this on for size: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," means what it says but "...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." does not. The Fourteenth amendment means what it says; the Second does not. Many on the left don't even know the meaning or intent of the Tenth Amendment. I'll leave it there for now, but you can bet that I'll be back. My faith is my own, and I'll express it any way I choose. Jill Porter, the ACLU or no.

    Additional evidence is available of the war on faith. Blogs for Bush notes that:

    "The Boy Scouts of America is pulling the charters of thousands of scouting units from public schools in an effort to spare them from lawsuits threatened by the American Civil Liberties Union."

    "In a letter sent to the BSA last month, the ACLU vowed to take legal action against public schools and other taxpayer-funded governmental agencies that charter Scout groups, claiming their sponsorship amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state."
    Now, why would the big powerful ACLU make war on children? Simple, the Boy Scout Oath states:
    "On my honor, I will do my best; To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."
    Scouts have been and are being kicked out of schools, parks and US Military bases because they promise to do their duty to God, and because of this, the ACLU and others believe that any governmental agency that sponsors a scout troop or explorer post or even cub scout pack is promoting religion and violating the establishment clause. Are these people NUTS? (Oh, wait, dumb question.)
    I'm concerned that Martin Niemöller's poem may come to pass for those with faith in God. Niemöller was a U-boat Commander in WWI and became a protestant minister prior to WWII. He said nothing as he watched the Nazi's systematically destroy the fabric of German society until the fall of 1937. He was arrested and sent to a concentration camp from which it is suggested the wrote:
    "First the Nazis came…
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me."
    Niemöller's personal history (here)is important, because he proves, as much of history does, but proves it in a way that is both personal and direct that if we do nothing about the gradual loss of freedoms in this country, a day will come when we do not have any freedoms. "No one was left to speak for me." Indeed!

    If you need to be reminded, the First Amendment guarantees that the state shall not establish a religion, AND that we may worship as we please. Freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    The first amendment mentions nothing about the boy scouts, nothing about being afraid of Christianity or other religious expression and nothing about old missions, symbolized on a county seal. Would someone tell that to the idiots at the ACLU, and to Jill Potter and to the LA County Board of Supervisors? They really do need to know.

    Posted by GM Roper at 12:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (3)

    March 18, 2005


    From The SmarterCop:

    "Attorney Barbara Weller was with Terri earlier today. She told the media that, during his visit with Terri, she explained to her what was happening. According to Weller, Terri began to cry and could not be quieted. She tried to coach Terri to say "Let me live" but she simply was having too much difficulty."
    I'm heartsick! Nauseated, dumbfounded and heartsick! What is going on in this country that we have such a blind spot that we cannot see that what is going to happen is that a DISABLED PERSON, AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN as indicated by Terri Schiavo CRYING at her own impending death is about to be starved.

    Terri S.jpgThere can be NO DOUBT that Terri is aware of her impending death. Either she is objecting as indicated by her incosolable crying OR she is glad that her life is going to be over. Either way she is aware!!! That means, beyond any doubt that she is NOT IN A PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE!This cannot be allowed to happen!

    I'm going to make a request of anybody living within 100 miles of Terri Schiavo. Please, go down to the police station and file a complaint. Do not call, if thousands or even hundreds of people call it will tie up the switchboards and perhaps prevent the police from responding to another life or death emergency. But, if you go there, and are orderly, even if there are only a few tens of people than the police will have something to act on. Maybe not, I'm not a police expert, but somebody has to do something to prevent the starving/dehydration of a sentient human being.


    Posted by GM Roper at 09:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    An Ethical Philosophy Test

    mill.jpgThis gentleman is John Stewart Mill. Mill epitomized the theories of both his father and of Jeremy Bentham. Mill believed in basing knowledge upon human experience and emphasizing human reason. In political economy, Mill advocated those policies that he believed most consistent with individual liberty, and he emphasized that liberty could be threatened as much by social as by political tyranny. My quote permanently ensconsed in my sidebar is from Mill:

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 17, 2005

    Read This.... NOW!!!!

    If you read nothing else today, read this

    A HUGE hattip to Michael Totten. Thanks Michael, for taking on the task, and for being such a good friend of Iraq and the Iraqi's

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day Me Lads And Lasses!


    There is one day, and one day only in the fullness of time when everyone is Irish. That day is today, so in honor of the good St. Patrick, I've posted the lyrics to "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." The lyrics to When Irish Eyes Are Smiling were written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. and set to the music of Enerst Ball for Olcott's production of The Isle O' Dreams. The music was published in 1912. Olcott also wrote "My Wild Irish Rose" and either song will make you Irish today. And, while you're at it, head over to Ogre's Politics and Views for a Test to See how Irish you are. Songstress of News From The Great Beyond doesn't believe she is Irish, but TODAY she is. In Fact, so is Peitro from The Smarter Cop who may not realize that (although being a smarter cop I'm sure he does) that cops and Irishmen have a natural affinity.

    So, without further ado, lift your voices and a glass of Killian's Red and have a go.

    There's a tear in your eye,
    And I'm wondering why,
    For it never should be there at all.
    With such pow'r in your smile,
    Sure a stone you'd beguile,
    So there's never a teardrop should fall.
    When your sweet lilting laughter's
    Like some fairy song,
    And your eyes twinkle bright as can be;
    You should laugh all the while
    And all other times smile,
    And now, smile a smile for me.

    When Irish eyes are smiling,
    Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
    In the lilt of Irish laughter
    You can hear the angels sing.
    When Irish hearts are happy,
    All the world seems bright and gay.
    And when Irish eyes are smiling,
    Sure, they steal your heart away.

    For your smile is a part
    Of the love in your heart,
    And it makes even sunshine more bright.
    Like the linnet's sweet song,
    Crooning all the day long,
    Comes your laughter and light.
    For the springtime of life
    Is the sweetest of all
    There is ne'er a real care or regret;
    And while springtime is ours
    Throughout all of youth's hours,
    Let us smile each chance we get.

    When Irish eyes are smiling,
    Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
    In the lilt of Irish laughter
    You can hear the angels sing.
    When Irish hearts are happy,
    All the world seems bright and gay.
    And when Irish eyes are smiling,
    Sure, they steal your heart away.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    March 16, 2005

    Larry Summers vs. Harvard Professoriate - I Report, You Decide

    From my favorite journalist/blogger/humorist/iconoclast - the Indomintable James Taranto at the WSJ comes this tidbit of information.

    "In a sharp and unexpected rebuke of University President Lawrence H. Summers, members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted yesterday that they lack confidence in his leadership."--Harvard Crimson, March 16, 2005
    Tranto goes on to say:
    "As the Crimson notes, "The two non-binding motions, unique in Harvard's history, are largely symbolic gestures--only the Harvard Corporation, the University's top governing body, can force Summers to step down." In short, it was a show trial, both in procedure and in effect (that is, in the lack thereof). Fittingly, the venue for this vain display was the Loeb Drama Center."
    I have therefore decided that we need to have a poll (self selected though it be) to see what kind of "confidence" WTP (We The People for those of you not in the know) have in the Harvard Professor types. In a week, I'll figure a way to get the poll results to them.

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    1Reason to select GM for

    1Reason to select GM for King of the blogs. Though a newbie to blogging he rapidly captured the imagination of his old and newfound friends with wit and dedication to freedom and human dignity; even lefties like Marc Cooper like him. Besides, his wife thinks he is cute and sexy.

    Click On The Crown And Votecrown.JPG

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    Lefties need not play - They ARE the game

    This is from Sean Gleeson's blog and is a lot of fun. Come to think of it, the Moonbat robot makes MUCH MORE SENSE than do many on the far, far left.

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    The REAL Great Race

    Voting has begun and right now, I'm lagging behind which is not a position I'm enjoying. There is something however that you can do to help. Go here and vote for my blog. This is important folks. Oh, not as important as perhaps as whether John Kerry actually believed he had "A Plan for __________" (you fill in the blank here), and not perhaps as important as how many corpses voted in the Washington State Governor's race, but important enough, more important than a $10.00 shoe shine (except perhaps to the person giving you the shine).

    This is a tough race, right now I'm looking at the east facing end of a west running horse and I want to be the front runner. Nay (no pun intended) I NEED to be the front runner.

    I'm asking, begging, and willing to bribe you to go here and vote for GM's Corner.

    Alternately, you could go here or here Where-ever you choose to go, do so NOW and vote for moi, yours truly, your humble servant, your guide to all things witty and charming. Did I mention Humble? No? Well, only humility prevents me from saying how humble I really am. No, Really!!!!

    Posted by GM Roper at 12:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Queen, Freud And Baghdad Bob

    Tis Friday and dinner must be just right. Why dinner? Well, because I must eat and I must eat in stimulating company. Tonight I’ve invited three guests to dinner and I will share with you the text and scope of our discussion. Why again you might ask? Because dear reader, if I offer you the tidbits of stimulating conversation, among those who are most conversant in my field or in their fields, or perhaps in your field, then you might, just might mind you, have your consciousness expanded. Oh, that won’t affect your waistline my friend, just your consciousness.

    Our first guest is none other than the Host, originator and magnificently intellectually endowed Nick Queen of Patriot Paradox. Nick of course hangs out with others who are equally intellectually endowed including the brilliant MRober at Ogres Politics and Views and the charming Songstress7 of News from The Great Beyond and last, but definately not least the terrific Peitro from The Smarter Cop

    But, I digress, I’ve invited Nick for a couple of reasons, first, because he is the real Boss, and second, because I’m an obsequious fawner who just can’t resist telling Nick how illustrious he is and how happy I am to be in the running for King of the Blogs.

    Our Second guest is none other than that world renown auteur of popular profundity and practical philosophy regarding war and its fighting, the ever enlightening Baghdad Bob. BB (as he is known to those of us in the know) was invited for his stimulating Queen’s (no, not Nick Queen) English in explaining the many concepts of invading a peaceful kingdom, raping and pillaging as you go, but ultimately being repulsed by the artful denizens of the peaceful kingdom.

    Our final and especially invited guest is none other than that Paragon of Pundrity, my former student Sigmund Freud (you wouldn't believe how long I've been doing this - psychotherapy that is). Sigmund was actually chosen not because he is a former student, but rather because I wanted his evaluation of the current situation in the world and to see if his evaluation of BB is the same as mine.

    These three guests were all sent invitations weeks and weeks ago long before even I knew that I would be participating in this contest. How is that possible you ask? Well, dear reader, anything is possible in blogdom, just as you are reading about this FUTURE dinner in the here and now.

    Again, I digress. The table is set, drinks are ready in the solarium (I always wanted to use that word) and the chefs from the CIA are putting the final garnish on the soon to be served meal. No, no, no - not that CIA, I'm referring to the Culinary Institute of America in New York, home to many of the Cordon Bleu chefs inhabiting some of the finest restaurants in the world. No expense was spared for this dinner - even if the expense was entirely in virtual dollars.

    First to arrive is BB. Dressed in fetching fatigues found only in the best of shops, BB enters my abode (for those of you educationally challenged that means house), doffs his beret and states "There are no Americans here. None! If there were, I'd tell you true and we would roast their stomachs in the fires of hell."

    "Good entry BB" I think to myself.

    Siggy (as those of us who know him best call the Herr Doktor Freud) comes in immediately following, dressed as befits a man-about-town in a heavy wool outfit complete with vest, tie, and fedora. He trails of course a cloud of smoke from one of his many cigars consumed that day or any other day. Siggy walks immediately to the bar and orders a 7% solution of Gin and Tonic (the tonic was the 7% - Siggy likes his booze). Siggy looks at BB and remarks "Herr BB, you're uttering profound untruths und it makes me think that you secretly wanted to marry your mother, a classic case of the Oedipal Complex." BB of course being less well educated and not understanding the reference states "The Kraut's have arrived." To which Siggy replies "I'm Austrian, but I'll let that pass for the nonce." BB, not knowing what the "nonce" means either just sits there; silent for once.

    Wanting to stop the argument before it really has a chance to start, I bring out the cocktail peanuts and shove a few in BB's direction.

    Ahh, I see our third guest, Nick Queen has arrived. (I can tell because his arrival causes a glow of light to diffuse around us all, bathing us with joy in his presence.

    Nick is nattily attired in his nativist best consisting of light cotton shirt and slacks, suitable for travel, casual dining and impressing the heck out of all that see him. (Polo Shirt and Jeans but what the heck, I'm into the flattery at the moment.)

    Nick notes "I'm the designated driver this evening, so I won't be drinking and besides I'll need my wits about me if I'm to bandy profundities in this crowd." Of course, we all applaud and cheer this pronouncement.

    Nick sits with a tall glass of ginger ale and begins the evening's conversation. "I'd like to share with all of you my thoughts about why the judges that were picked for the King of the Blogs competition were picked." (Applause inserted here)

    "First of all," he said, "I picked MRober from Ogre because he is not only brilliant at judging contests like these, but he is also willing to use that club he carries. Further, though he uses the club only to defend the American Way, he has this certain Irish waif appearance."

    Of course, knowing the beauty of MRober's visage (View image) we readily agreed (we're not stupid you know.) Nick also said he picked Peitro from Smarter Cop certainly not from his visage, but from his staunch conservatism (read - highly intelligent) and smarts as depicted in his Einsteinein choice of Blogopoly game pieces (View image)

    "Lastly (saving the best for last of course), I picked Songstress7 for her beauty, intelligence, forthrightness and charm. If you don't believe me, look here and be jealous of her soul mate (View image)."

    BB, tired of not being the center of attention, remarked "Faltering forces of infidels cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege. Therefore, in reality whatever this miserable Rumsfeld has been saying, he was talking about his own forces. Now even the American command is under siege." To which Siggy remarked "Ach, Herr BB, zoze American's you disparage have already beaten the henchmen of der Fuhrer I mean der Saddam und haff captured him hiding in a hole in ze ground."

    Looking totally non-plussed (would that be like minus? - ed. -- Would you hush, you're Roger Simon's muse, not mine!) BB rejoined with "Just look carefully, I only want you to look carefully. Do not repeat the lies of liars. Do not become like them. Once again, I blame Al-Jazeera before it ascertains what takes place. Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role."

    I just looked at BB and wondered what on earth was I thinking of when I invited him to dine. Nick then capped off the evening with the best rejoinder of all, "BB, you obviously are the product of improper toilet training." To which Siggy replied "Ach, zat ist zo."

    The rest of the evening went with more elevated and fanciful conversation, except for the phone call from American Warmonger during dessert, which of course I put on the speakerphone for all to hear. "George," said Jeremy "having had the persicapacity to go into the future and read what you would be writing for the "question" I can tell you here and now that your blog is the only one worthy of following in my footsteps. Therefore, by the power vested in me as a three times crowned King of the Blogs, I pass my Crown to you regardless of what the judges judge."

    "Why thanks Mr. Bol," said I, "I'm deeply honored that you would think enough of this entry to take the time and effort to go into the future and make this pronouncement."

    "Only one American Infidel gets it right." said BB.

    "In the fullness of quality mental health and in the interest of passing from this sphere into the next I agree." said Siggy. Of course, many have had trouble figuring out what the heck the Good Herr Doktor means when he makes such statements.

    "Do you have any Tumms?" said Nick.

    Post Script: I have had fun with this contest, perhaps more fun than one is truly allowed on this earth. My best to the other contestants even though they don't deserve the crown and I do, and my best to the judges for their efforts, and of course to Nick, for bringing a needed bit of levity to the blogosphere which sometimes is far too serious. G'night!

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

    1,000,000 Visitors. Awesome Dude, Just Awesome

    Rusty Shackleford at the Jawa Report (Formerly MyPetJawa) has reached a million visitors. Someday, I might get there too...but you know what? I'm absolutely positive that Rusty is quite proud of his site, and justifyably so. But I suspect that the real joy is not the numbers (allthough that helps) but is watching your thoughts and words go out and seeing people respond. That is awesome to me.

    Of course, reaching a million is awesome too. Rusty says that he remembers when it was as few as 10 a day. Well Rusty my man, you've done good, damn good indeed.

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 15, 2005

    Newly Discovered Blog

    One of the delightful things about the internet is the chance to randomly read blogs on bloggers bloglists. You get a lot of reading done that way, learn quite a bit if you are open to other's ideas and thoughts and can generally have a great time.

    Today, I started with one of the links from my site, to another link, to another and to another and came across this one hosted by One John Jay Ray who notes that he is a

    "...former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party."

    At any rate, Dr. Ray takes after the left much better than anything at DU or does at taking after the right. Go, Read, Enjoy and tell him GM Sent you.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    March 14, 2005


    Hello to all my adoring fans out there (all three of you) and to the many other regular readers as well. I'm running for "KING OF THE BLOGS" and I need your VOTE so go HERE and vote (look slightly down on the left side margin). If you have access to a number of computers with different IP addresses, vote more than once, and don't worry, Democrats have been doing it for years. If you know any Dead People get them to vote too. If you don't know how to get dead people to the polls, send an email to Richard M. "TrickyDick" The Daley's have been doing it almost daily for decades and I'm sure Hizzoner would be willing to share the secrets of Dead Men Voting.

    Currently, his Royal Majesty, Cling of the Blogs (well, he has had it for several weeks now) is American Warmonger, ahhh, but me, I'm a descendent (in thought if not in biology) of Machiavelli and I'm plotting His Royal Majesty's overthrow to become the new King Of The Blogs. In fact, i deserve the title if for no other reason than I'm the third George in my family and that would make me...... Tadaaaaaa (drum roll please Maestro) George The Third (King George III) Nice ring to it don't you think. Although, I think some other King may have had the same name....

    This contest was started a couple of years ago by the redoubtable Nick Queen of Patriot Paradox, he of the mighty vision, he of the terrible insight, he of the hearty heartburn.

    This contest is all in fun, with good natured ribbing and delightful prose - if written by me. If not, its merely prosaic prose precisely if not politely pundited. So Vote for ME, GEORGE III the new and future King, for if you don't, the fleas of a million camels or some other such grungy mammal will infest your armpits.

    UPDATE: The magnificent judges include: The brilliant MRober at Ogres Politics and Views and the charming Songstress7 of News from The Great Beyond and last, but definately not least the terrific Peitro from The Smarter Cop

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    Nothing to Add

    View This Image

    View This One Too

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 12, 2005

    The Third Annual International Eat an Animal for PETA Day


    The 15th of March is the official Eat an Animal for PETA Day. I got the link from Crossing The Rubicon 2 and it appears on Meryl Yourish's blog here

    The Angry Cow gif above also reminded me of one of the funniest flash movies I've ever seen. I watched it so often that my wife started giving me the evil eye everytime. So, now, I load and play it only when she's not home. It's still funny... I'm surprised she doesn't think so. At any rate, here it is: Cows with Guns!

    And remember, cows MIGHT fight back.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    God Help Me, I Don't Want To Live Any More

    This article was originally posted on my old site in December 2004. However, in light of the recent death of Hunter Thompson, and the increasing interest that his suicide caused, I thought it appropriate to re post it. So, here it is in its entirety.

    Earlier this month (December 10th), Gary Webb committed suicide. Mr. Webb was the author of Dark Alliance a book about the connection between the Contra's and Drugs and the CIA. My friend Marc Cooper wrote extensively about Mr. Webb here, & here.

    Suicide - the killing of one's self is a mental health issue stretching back through the millennia. Whether it be from Alexander falling on his sword, Socrates drinking hemlock or Mr. Webb, suicide hurts everyone it touches, from the victim to the victims loved ones.

    The Center for Disease Control reports:

    * Suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001 (CDC 2004).
    * Suicide rates are generally higher than the national average in the western states and lower in the eastern and midwestern states (CDC 1997).
    * In 2002, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized following suicide attempts; 116,639 were treated in emergency departments and released (CDC 2004).
    * In 2001, 55% of suicides were committed with a firearm (Anderson and Smith 2003).

    The CDC goes on to say that women attempt suicide three times the rate of men and men complete suicide four times the rate of women. It is a grisly set of statistics, especially at this time of year when one would think that being with family, the giving and getting of expressions of love, sharing with others etc., would be a happy time for all.

    And yet, and yet, this is not the case. No, is there trouble in the world, with war, famine, disease and sorrow. And for far too many, despondency.

    Risk factors for suicide include the following:

    • Previous suicide attempt(s)History of mental disorders, particularly depression
    • History of alcohol and substance abuse
    • Family history of suicide
    • Family history of child maltreatment
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
    • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
    • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
    • Physical illness
    • Easy access to lethal methods
    • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
    • Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
    • Local epidemics of suicide
    • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

    I know the feeling of despondency, of being cut off from others, of severe loss; and I know them far too intimately! In July, 1996 my first wife passed away from the complications of asthma. We were 15 days away from our 27th anniversary! As the family gathered around my daughter and me, I still felt isolated. When my wife's mother, brother and I went to our chuch to talk with the pastor about the memorial service my brother-in-law noted that my wife was no longer in pain, that we would soon enough be with her but we didn't want that now. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking and said "I do." I meant that then, at that time in my life. I, to this day, don't know if I would have actually attempted suicide (obviously I didn't commit it); but I do know that if I had been crossing the street I wouldn't have hurried out of the way of a car speeding towards me, so great was my despondency. I survived that time, with the support and love of my friends and family, especially the love of my daughter Jennifer. I fell in love again (though I never thought I would) and re-married and am delightfully happy once again.

    Suicide has been called the Savage God by A. Alvarez in his classic book, and part of my title comes from remembering reading that tome when I was in graduate school. In my 35 plus years of mental health work, I have dealt with the family survivors of suicide time and time again and it's never easy; on the therapist or on the family. The grief, the doubt and the pain go on and on in unremitting waves. Suicide is far too often not a well thought out action, but an action of desparation, of despondency of a belief that nothing will again be better. Gary Webb doubtlessly felt this way before shooting himself.

    Suicide grows out of an irrational belief that nothing will improve - and no, I'm not talking about people with an incurable disease, with an immediate future of unremitting pain and ultimate death. I'm talking about people who in the depths of depression believe that nothing will improve. Nothing could be farther from the truth! While there is life, there is hope. Suicide dashes that hope for the victim and the surviving loved ones.

    It is said that depression, like any mood is cyclical, that is that our moods go up and down in a normal fashion with a fairly predictable regularity. Clinical depression on the other hand is a gross exaggeration of this cycle. A psychiatrist friend of mine explained it once as waking up in the morning feeling lousy and down. Going to work someone notices and says "What's wrong?" to which you sigh and reply "I'm depressed!" The other person says "It's OK, things will get better" and sure enough, after a few days or a week or so it does. But depression, real depression is much more complex and much greater than just the "blues."

    Depression is often mistakenly thought to be caused by one or more of the following:

    • Depression is the result of a medical condition involving an imbalance of hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain.
    • Depression is the result of "bad" thinking processes.
    • Depression is a result of significant psychological/physical trauma and it's aftermath.

    The Depression Learning Path here has a terrific bit of information regarding depression. Read it all.

    Depression is not the "cause" of suicide though, even if it is often directly and unavoidably linked to depression. I once had a patient who had lost her husband and two children in separate accidents a couple of years apart, lost her business and managed to cope with it all. She became depressed and had persistent thoughts of death and dying when her pet dog died. So, how did she cope with true tragedy but "fall apart" when a pet died? Perhaps it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Perhaps it was the time of year, perhaps her pet's death occurred as she was starting to realize the extent of her previous losses. I don't know. I do know that with the help of a psychiatrist and counseling she was able to recover and become a fully functioning happy person again.

    The loss of belief in a future, despondency too often leads to suicide. For the family of the suicide, the resulting guilt and belief that they could have prevented it is wide spread, almost universal. There are warning signs, but they are not always present, and often the person contemplating suicide goes to great lengths to keep anyone from realizing what is about to happen. SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) has a great Question & Answer section on suicide, causes, prevention etc. I strongly, strongly, suggest a full reading.

    Educate yourself about depression and suicide; the cost in lives ended, lives of survivers shattered and the cost in human suffering demands it. You may know someone who is contemplating suicide. If so, act, now, go to the internet and learn as much as you can and do something. Take a risk! Be proactive! Save someone you love, even if they get furious with you. You may not be ultimately successful, but you won't feel guilty if they eventually do take their lives.

    UPDATE: From SAVE a bit of good news. President Bush signed the GarrettLeeSmith Bill.

    President Bush signed into law a bill authorizing $82 million in grants aimed at preventing suicide among young people. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is named for the son of Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who championed the legislation as a tribute to his 21-year-old son, who committed suicide last year. The senator, his wife Sharon, daughter Brittany and son Morgan attended the signing ceremony at the White House.The law authorizes $82 million over three years to provide grants to states, Indian tribes, colleges and universities to develop youth suicide prevention and intervention programs. It emphasizes screening programs that identify mental illness in children as young as sixth-graders, and provides referrals for community-based treatment and training for child care professionals.

    Suicide can often be prevented if we all make a significant effort.

    In the hopes that this re-posting may help someone or help someone help someone else, I urge all of you to get as much information as you possibly can. Suicide can be prevented most of the time.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


    This is the logo for my new cafepress store. With other blogs, you are asked to tip or donate to support the blog and it's a safe way to do it. But I decided that something more was needed, a way to get value for your "tip" and, if you want, a great source of gifts - gag or otherwise. If you click on the button at the top of the sidebar on the right, it will take you to the GM's Corner Store.

    I have received a number of rave comments both on the blog and via e-mail about some of my photographs in the Alaska Blogging and Baltic Blogging Series. All of these will be available on all the items in the "store" just by sending me an e-mail to gmroper-at-gmroper-dot-com (remove the dashes, and use the @ and . where appropriate) telling me which photo (or drawing) you want on which product. I'll upload it onto the product, send you a return e-mail and you will have 3 days to order that product. After that, the "logo: "I got caught" goes back.

    I hope you will use the store to buy whimsical gifts for others and useful (tho 'unusual') items for yourself.

    Thanks.... GMR

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


    House on Log Raft for when the Tides get deep.jpg
    This Old House - Wouldn't this be a trip for Norm to remodel? This is, I'm told, a fairly common practice in low lying areas where tides can swoosh in and out regularly. The cabin is constructed on a very large raft of logs so that as the tide comes in, the house will rise and fall with the tide, and yet not go anywhere.

    I asked the guide how long this cabin has been there, she remarked that it was there as long as she can remember (The guide was about in her mid 40's). It has the appearance of being abandoned, but I'm told that it is occupied from time to time, perhaps as a "fishing" or "hunting cabin." Regardless, an interesting view on the way to the Valley of the Eagles.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

    March 11, 2005

    FEC And The Regulation Of Blogs

    I've signed on to this BLOGOSPHERE LETTER to the F.E.C. on regulation of political blogs.

    Hopefully, this is not going to be necessary, but since when have bureaucrats EVER not wanted more power? Not only do they want to tell you what you can, as an amateur journalist (or even a professional journalist) write about, they will soon tell you what you are REQUIRED to write about. Dinging the First Amendment is a slippery slope and McCain-Feingold is the grease on that slope.
    say no to the FEC.PNG
    If you are a blogger, sign, if you are a reader of bloggs, write to them and let them know how you feel about this. If you don't have a dog in this hunt, write them anyway. It is your freedom after-all.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

    March 10, 2005

    Celebrate Diversity? How About Celebrating UNITY?

    The following email was sent to me by an acquaintence. I thought you would be interested in what it has to say.

    We all know Dick Lamm as the liberal, Democratic former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration-overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American's finest minds and leaders.

    A brilliant college professor named Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

    Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time.

    Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'"

    "Here is how they do it," Lamm said: First to destroy America, "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.

    "The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.' Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

    Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

    Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'"

    Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

    "Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

    "My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

    "My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent.

    People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" --- From many, one.

    In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'unum,' we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

    "Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate."

    "Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

    In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel
    America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book." There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference.

    Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Every discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America - take note of California and other states to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

    Governor Lamm, walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

    Every great society in all of history destroyed themselves and fell within because of a lack of moral and ethical values, greed, and internal strife. Does the following sound familiar?

    Happy holiday replaces Merry Christmas

    Diversity replaces excellence in education

    Ethnic history becomes more important than American History

    Historical fact is replaced by revisionist idealism

    Founding christianity is replaced by political correctness, which becomes the new religion

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


    The Honorable George W. Greer
    The Sixth Judicial Circut Court of Florida
    Pinellas County, Florida

    Dear Judge Greer:

    Today, March 10, 2005, I listened to the radio on the way home from an appointment. I heard on the 1:00 PM news that you had denied a petition to allow the adult protective services of Florida to investigate whether or not there was sufficient evidence to determine if Terri Schiavo had been mistreated by her guardian. This of course allows the current ruling of your court to stand and will ultimately allow Michael Schiavo to have the feeding tube disconnected causing the ultimate death of Mrs. Schiavo by starvation. I am at a total loss as to why you are in such a hurry to see this woman die, when you have been informed, doubtlessly by many sources, that this (the issue of mismanagement of her guardianship) is a distinct possibility.

    I am at a further loss to understand what the "big hurry" is to cause her death by starvation. I understand that this court action has taken years, but what possible harm (except perhaps to Michael Schiavo's ego and your own inability to see beyond your current rulings)a few more days or weeks to complete. If, as I and many others believe based on current information, Mrs. Schiavo's current guardian (Michael S.) has not functioned fully and completely as a guardian of an incompetant persons life, what is the hurry? You are in possession (and if you are not, you should be) of information that she was for a long period kept in isolation, nurses were instructed not to allow her to see outside, turn her or even brush her teeth. In fact, there can be a case made that Mrs. Schiavo has not been afforded the same protections given to any citizen of Pinellas County, The State of Florida or indeed to any citizen of the United States. Specifically the protections that are afforded are:

    “No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability”, and, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” And, what due process is guaranteed? "The right of trial by jury shall be secure to all and remain inviolate."

    Some have suggested that the right to the protection of a jury is not applicable in Terri’s case because it is not a criminal case. But Florida’s own Supreme Court in Case No. 79,396 _B.J.Y., Petitioner/Appellant, vs. M.A., Respondent/Appellee. [April 29, 1993], has made it quite clear the protection of a jury is a vital part of Florida’s due process and “…is not to be narrowly construed.”
    Information readily available to you and to others gives sufficient evidence that all is not as it appears to be. There is significant doubt as to whether Mrs. Schiavo meets Florida criteria for persistant vegetative state (PVS) and more than sufficient evidence that she does not. If not, imagine if you can find it in your heart and in your imagination, what her feelings will be as she slowly starves and cannot imagine why she is not being fed. You will not even allow a study to be done to see if she can swallow on her own. Have you no humanity?

    Lastly, as an appeal to you personally, I watched each of my parent's die of irreversable illness on different occasions and I was with them both as they breathed their last. Both of these wonderful people had indicated to more than one person on more than one occasion that that would be their wish. This is not the case with Mrs. Schiavo, and her husband's claims to the contrary should at the very minimum give you pause. In addition, the story of Kate Adamson posted at Wittenberg Gate should give you pause. Kate was the victim of a brain-stem stroke and was thought to be in a persistent vegetative state. She pulled through and after many many months of being "a vegetable" is now back home with her family, actively particpating in her life. Terri has never had that chance because Mr. Schiavo has not provided the rehabilitation he promised the court he would provide.

    I'm hoping and praying you will listen to reason and find it in your heart to at least allow the investigation to continue and will allow other motions before your court to at least be considered before a great tragedy occurs. Life is too prescious to toss away in such a cavalier fashion.


    Posted by GM Roper at 02:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (2)


    Icouldn't help myself last night, I was trying hard, really hard not to fall in front of that moving train called "Dan's Last Night As Anchor." But, I was unsuccessful. Like most addicts, like most that are afflicted with Schaden-FRAUD, I had to watch Dan's last broadcast (video here) as Anchor of CBS News.

    I wasn't disappointed Dan performed with all the smarm that I and many others have come to expect. I did not remember his use of the word "Courage" on his first broadcast and I'm surprised at the number of bloggers who did. Although I watched his first broadcast as anchor (remember, 20+ years ago the three networks -ABC, NBC and CBS were about all that were available in terms of "news") on the boob-tube.

    Today, we can get news from a variety of sources, the internet, BLOGS (for rather/blog appearal look here at "IHeartBloggers. Com), CNN, Fox, other cable outlets etc. But back then, if you watched Uncle Walter sign off with "And that's the way it is..." you naturally wanted to watch Dan when he took over Uncle Walt's gig.

    What I got out of the last-cast was a load of smarm and Dan's poor attempts to tie himself to something memorable by his reportage of 9/11's aftermath. Interviews with survivors, members of Ladder 6, the fear generated by the crashing of the Twin Towers into rubble.

    Dan's last act was one more example of the "lack of courage" he has exhibited during much of his reportage over the years. His obvious attempts to sway public opinion are well documented. The collections of "Ratherisms" is astounding. You can find many of the collected "wit and wisdom" of the ratherism here, here, and here

    The only think I could think of when Dan signed off (and no, I DID NOT watch his retrospective - I had to take something for nausea and it took a while to work) was this (with apologies to Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion in the Wizzard of Oz):

    Life is sad, believe me Missy,
    When you're born to be a sissy
    Without the vim and verve.

    But I could change my habits,
    Nevermore be scared of rabbits
    If I only had the nerve.

    I'm afraid there's no denyin'
    I'm just a dandylion
    A fate I don't deserve.

    But I could show my prowess,
    Be a lion not a mowess
    If I only had the nerve
    On the other hand, Dan probably was thinking:
    If I were King of the Forest, Not queen, not duke, not prince.
    My regal robes of the forest, would be satin, not cotton, not chintz.
    I'd command each thing, be it fish or fowl.
    With a woof and a woof and a royal growl - woof.

    As I'd click my heel, all the trees would kneel.
    And the mountains bow and the bulls kowtow.
    And the sparrow would take wing - If I - If I - were King!

    Each rabbit would show respect to me. The chipmunks genuflect to me.
    Though my tail would lash, I would show compash
    For every underling!

    If I - If I - were King!
    The vast majority of us however, are singing something else (with advance apologies to the Great Roy Clark)
    Thank God and BLOGGERS you're gone,
    I didn't know how much longer TRUTH could go on,
    Watching you take the respect AND TRUTH OUT OF US,
    Watching you make a total wreck out of US,
    That big BLOG0SPHERE is playing OUR song,
    Thank God and BLOGGERS you're gone!


    Posted by GM Roper at 07:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

    Blog Wear for the Pajamahadeen


    "I fought The Blog ... And The Blog Won." has some awesome clothing for Bloggers...

    Go there, NOW

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 09, 2005

    Victims of Pet Food Overdose

    There is a growing tragedy in the U.S., feeding pets too much of pet food, laden with chemicals. This inevitably produces the dreaded "Overdose" victim. Read on at your own risk.


    Continue reading "Victims of Pet Food Overdose"
    Posted by GM Roper at 06:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    March 08, 2005

    Daniel Patrick Moinahan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, And Now John Bolton

    When I heard the news that President Bush had nominated John Bolton to be the new Ambassador to the United Nations, my first thought was "Good, time to take names and kick ass in the tradition of Moinahan and Kirkpatrick." My second thought was "The Dems are going to go nuts on this." I was right on both counts.

    James Taranto in the "Best of the Web Today" in yesterday's column noted " will be interesting to see how many democrats take the side of the U.N. and complain about "harsh criticism" from Bolton to the U.N. in the past.

    Indeed, the Dems voted against Bolton in 2001 when he was up for confirmation as Undersecretary of State in early 2001. The vote then was 57-43 in favor with all but 7 Democrats voting no. (You didn't hear Democrat complaints then about a lack of bipartisanship did you?) Bolton has been harsh, but also accurate in his assessment of some U.N. activities, responsibility as a world body and some treaties.

    Each time, however in my opinion he has been right, spending good "time on target" as the Artillery folk might say. But being right goes against the grain of many so called diplomats. Those diplomats want to "talk" without taking any action, they want dialogue, they want to make nice and kissy face, while some of the major despots in the world such as Korea and Iran and China prepare for war and/or repress their own citizens in ways most Americans cannot even come close to imagining.

    The Wall Street Journal in today's Opinion Journal notes:

    "Right now, the U.N. is beset by two great crises. The first is of efficacy. Over the past few years, the world has seen a depressing series of demonstrations of everything the U.N. can't do. It cannot prevent mass killing in Rwanda, Bosnia and now Darfur. It cannot competently (never mind ethically) administer an Oil for Food program. It cannot speedily deliver assistance to the victims of natural catastrophes. It cannot enforce its own Security Council resolutions. It cannot stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It cannot even define terrorism.

    Up to a point, these failures can be blamed on inadequate resources--although so far that hasn't prevented the U.N. from spending more lavishly on its staff than the average American corporation. Up to a point, too, the failures are the fault of U.N. member states and not the organization itself."

    No self respecting observer however can honestly say that the inefficient and corrupt practices of the U.N. haven't been aired. They have, usually by conservatives, both Republican and Democrat alike. Wilson's dream of the League of Nations died when the US saw that it was likely to be a boondoggle (and the isolationism we moved toward following WWI) and refused to ratify the treaty. The U.N. was formed following WWII as an attempt to lend strength to the idea that nations, united in common cause, could monitor other nations to prevent an outbreak of another major catastrophic war.

    To some extent it has, but at the cost of increasing corruption, scandal, and moving from true statesmen such as Dag Hammarskjôld or even (to many) U Thant to such obviously incompetent and perhaps thoroughly corrupt Secretary’s General such as Kofi Atta Annan. Indeed, Annan has a history of incompetence that goes back at least to 1994 when in charge of U.N. operations in Rwanda.

    According to Wikipedia

    "In his book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, ex-General Roméo Dallaire claims that Annan was overly passive in his response to the 1994 in the Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda. Dallaire claims that Annan, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at that time, held back UN troops from intervening to settle the conflict and from providing more logistic and material support."
    Others put the blame on the Security Council influenced by Bill Clinton.
    "The UN Security Council refused, several journalists laying blame on a gun-shy Clinton administration which refused to provide requested material aid after the failed US efforts in Mogadishu, Somalia. The Security Council further voted to reduce UNAMIR down to 260 men."

    [Note: For those interested, in the movie Hotel Rwanda, General (then Col.)Roméo Dallaire (with a fictitious name of Col. Oliver) was played by none other than Nick Nolte.]

    Back to Bolton. Bolton will not be popular in the U.N. in many quarters because of his willingness to call a spade a spade. He "violated" diplo-speak by uttering such egregious truths as calling North Korea "a hellish nightmare" ruled by a "tyrannical dictator." This just won't stand in the eyes of some.
    Pillage Idiot (with a HT to Polipundit for the pointer) has instituted the "Bolty Awards for the best comments regarding Mr. Bolton. My Favorite:

    "My problem with you over the years is that you've been too competent," Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) told Bolton four years ago. "I would rather you be stupid and not very effective."

    Indeed, for some folk the possibility that Bolton will be "too competent" and may reflect well on President Bush is just too much. It will be quite interesting to see what Biden has to say when the Senate meets on the Bolton nomination. As the WSJ goes on to note:

    "Of course, it would not do if Mr. Bolton's nomination wasn't greeted by the usual bellyaching of our supposed multilateralists. Sure enough, John Kerry obliged, calling the appointment "baggage we cannot afford" and reminding us why Americans prefer to call him Senator."
    "...we can think of no better candidate than Mr. Bolton... During his most recent State Department tour, he engineered the Proliferation Security Initiative, the most successful and meaningful multilateral effort undertaken by this Administration--or the previous one, for that matter. He negotiated the 2001 Treaty of Moscow, the most comprehensive nuclear disarmament treaty in history. In the real world, this is called "getting stuff done," something the U.N. could learn more about."

    Bolton will undoubtedly raise a lot of lefty and international hackles. Good, damn good!

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    Twins, Seperated At Birth!

    Tomorrow, Dan Rather "fades to black" & and takes his rain cloud with him.

    dan leaving.gif
    Perhaps, just perhaps, he is moving to DogPatch to join his long lost brother, Joe Btfsplk who, rumor has it has prepaired a warm (though quite wet) reception for his more famous but younger brother.

    Joe Btfsplk.jpg

    With gratitude to Cox & Forkum and Al Capp, for their humor, for their art, for the many years of pleasure both in my childhood, and in my old age. (well, not THAT old!)

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 07, 2005

    Truth In Politics &, Of Course, In Commenting

    Pat Santy M.D. over at Dr. Sanity has been "plagued" with trolls recently, and oddly enough, they all seem to have the same IP address:

    "Well, Well, Well. A gaggle of Trolls has hit this blog and accuse me of all sorts of things. One thing I can now accuse them of is that THEY HAVE BEEN ALL ONE PERSON. Jerome, Lila, Peter, Jenna, and Chere all seem to share the same IP address! Isn't that amazing?"
    Amazing indeed doc, just amazing. But, why should we be surprised? The quality of political discourse has coursened over the last decade, much to the dismay of many genteel men and women.

    Not that I can't cuss like a real soldier if I choose to (a tour in the USARMY with Sgt. Martinez my Basic Combat Training Senior D.I. included a number of significant NEW vocabulary words; and that was 35 years ago... just imagine what I've added since.) But, as has been said in the past, profanity is the last refuge of the inarticulate (and in too many cases, the ignorant and those who choose to act ignorant.)

    One result of Dr. Pat's trial by troll, was that she inalterably altered her comment rules:

    "Consequently, I am REVISING MY COMMENT POLICY. Heretofor, I have given people a second chance to clean up their language and to refrain from calling me or other commenters names.

    I am not going to give a second chance anymore. From this point on, ANY use of casual foul language, or foul language name calling, analogies etc. etc. will result in the comment being DELETED and the person making the comment BANNED.

    I will be the sole arbitor of when language goes over the top, since this is my blog and my threshold."

    As the Aussies might say (though I've never actually HEARD an Aussie say it): "Good on ya!"

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Patriot Art

    Priceless, absolutely priceless! Hey, Democrats! Yeah, you guys, the ones with the shamed expressions. Keep this guy, PLEASE!!!!

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Bolivian President Resigns

    News from South America too often doesn't resonate in this country, much to our loss. We had Kissinger deeply involved in overthrowing the Allende administration, we talk about cocaine and the narco-terrorists, we hope that Chavez will stumble and free up oil imports from Venezuela, but other than that we (the US/Canada folk) tend to ignore South America except for the tourist spots.

    In my own case, I held a summer job in Panama in the summer of '68 and met a fellow student from Bolivia and we became fast friends even through his bad English and my much worse Spanish. Roberto and I lost touch in the intervening decades, but I still remember the laughter.

    Well, there is some shaking of the branches of government going on and we better pay attention. Miguel Buitrago of MABB posts on the resignation of President Mesa. He notes the demands of the protesters/strikers in La Paz, in El Alto, in Cochabamba and in Santa Cruz, and notes that Mesa is still quite popular. A.M. Mora y Leon at Publius Pundit has more including a timeline of the current situation. Please read both blogs for a update on the situation

    Recently, President Mesa of Bolivia and President Chavez of Venezuela were in a "shouting match" for which Chavez later apologized indicating that he wasn't in "favor" of interefering in the internal affairs of Bolivia. But to be honest, if I were a Bolivian, I'd keep my eye on Chavez none-the-less.

    I'm hoping readers will pick up on this information and study up on what is going on in our own hemisphere. We are NOT an island and we can't act like we are.

    HT to Instapundit

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 06, 2005

    Blogs Newly Discovered: Amarji

    Awakening early this morning and in need of a cup of coffee, I came downstairs to complete the morning ritual of coffee and contemplation. Clicking on my favorite Progressives site Marc Cooper I see he discovered a new blog from Syria no less. Amarji - A Heretics Blog! You will find it with a double asterik in the FREEDOM BLOGS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST section to the right as well as this link

    Freedom lovers everywhere, this is a blog that is a must read. Freedom is breaking out in the middle east and this is one more example. It is difficult to imagine the guts that it takes to blog in Syria, Assad and the Baathists have that country "locked up tight" as it were. Yet, yet, the idea of freedom cannot be contained, it cannot be strangled, it WILL NOT be thwarted in the long run.

    A sample from yesterday's posting:

    "This is the year of decision for Syria, barring some miraculous recovery by the opposition and devil society dissidents, our fate will be determined by a potentially bloody showdown between the various power centers in the regime. Reform is not the issue here, but promises of reform will be on everybody’s lips. But, barring for the rise of some unforeseen actor on the scene, one of the existing sides is capable of actually delivering on reforms. Still, as a regional player, Syria has been, and for the foreseeable future, completely marginalized. This is indeed the end of an era. It cold also mark the beginning of the end of an unlikely and quite mediocre dynasty."

    It takes guts for Ammar to blog from Syria! Read, comment, support and pray.

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    March 05, 2005

    Krugman, Hack,Dogcatcher E-Con-O-Myst! Yeah, That's His Title And I'm Sticking To It.

    Krugman is so much fun to tackle, he's just the gift that keeps on giving. One of my favorite ranting lefties "reg" just loves to rag me about how I feel about Krugman, but, he's a lefty, so what can you expect?

    The Cato Institute's Mr. Michael Tanner will Debate Mr. Paul Krugman on the SS reform issue.... I can't wait. Here is a letter fromt he Cato Institute noting the challenge. "

    Dear Sir,

    How curious it is that the New York Times continues to run serial rants replete with inaccuracies and invective by Paul Krugman against Social Security reform and those who advocate individual accounts while only rarely allowing reformers a say on the op-ed page. What is the New York Times afraid of – a debate?

    The Cato Institute certainly isn’t. That is why Michael Tanner, the director of the institute’s Project on Social Security Choice, accepted with alacrity the offer to debate Mr. Krugman on March 15 at an event hosted by the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

    There Mr. Tanner will explain why Mr. Krugman is talking through his hat when he claims that Cato is unprepared to explain transition costs or how the reformed system would work. Mr. Krugman has need of the lesson because apparently he has neglected to read more than 20 years of detailed scholarship on the subject undertaken by Cato scholars.

    I suppose Mr. Krugman’s neglect is hardly surprising since he seems oblivious of what is reported in the news pages of his own newspaper

    The merits of individual accounts are indisputable and the intellectual argument for reform is compelling. That is unless, of course, you agree with Mr. Krugman that it is sensible to push payroll taxes ever higher, deprive Americans of better returns on their retirement savings and refuse to accept the principle that people have the right of ownership over what they pay into Social Security.

    In his rant published on February 25 he sought to link Cato to a bigoted commercial put out by the USA Next group that in his words, accuses AARP, the anti-reform seniors organization, of being an “anti-solider, pro-gay marriage leftist front.” The day before Mr. Krugman’s column ran Mr. Tanner was quoted in the New York Times condemning the ad.

    Social Security reform with individual accounts has great appeal for minorities and gays and women – indeed for all Americans. The debate over Social Security choice presents a great opportunity for political bridge-building and for gays and ethnic minorities to feel included in the national discussion. Those who seek to engage in the destructive politics of division, including Mr. Krugman, are doing a great disservice to the nation.

    Jamie Dettmer
    Director of Communications
    Cato Institute
    Washington DC."

    I can't wait for the debate. I think Krugman is gonna get his butt kicked....

    Hat Tip to the Inestimable Donald Luskin

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    FEC and McCain-Feingold - How Dumb Can They Get?

    say no to the FEC.PNG

    The Federal Election Commission is on the verge of making it illegal for bloggers to link to candidates websites or re-post the material from campaigns or even forward campaign e-mails. ED MORRISSEY at Captain's Quarters has a cogent post up regarding the FEC vs Bloggers:

    "What's at issue is whether blog posts, hyperlinks, and excerpted text -- or in some cases, fully copied position points -- could be considered unpaid advertising. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that it could. In fact, with blogs so easy to start and so difficult to trace, the FEC would have to look at them for the so-called unpaid advertising eventually. Otherwise, campaigns could easily start phantom blogs with anonymous authors to drum up traffic, or at least they could co-opt known blogs for that purpose without revealing the business connection. We saw some of that in 2004 already.

    Some have said that the FEC won't have the personnel to track down these kinds of violations, even if they did make them illegal, a valid point. However, all that means is that they will rely on complaints to reveal violators -- a system that in itself provides the biggest danger to bloggers. People who want to sabotage a particular blogger only need to organize a swarm of FEC complaints about the blog; enough complaints, and the FEC will eventually make its way to investigating the blogger."

    So how do we fight this perfidity? Simple, organize, protest, be willing to pay the price to uphold a first amendment right.

    If a minority opinion can stop the death penalty for 17 year olds, surely enough bloggers can protect the 1st amendment. Surely the blogosphere of lefty, righty, centrist, independent, libertarian, socialist and others can find common cause for this one issue. Surely, we can find a way to allow each of us to exercise our right to use the modern version of pamphleteering and help everyone in the US exercise freedom of the press?

    "What," you say, "Bloggers are not journalists?" Nuts! Are the print journalists going to be so protective of their "turf" that they think that they can't be held to the same standard as the rest of us? (of course they don't - they're special. -ed.) I would remind everyone of Martin Niemőller famous quote:

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me--
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    I'm a strong supporter of the first amendment:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

    I don't have the penmanship of John Hancock, so I'll just use modern technology to flame my signature.


    UPDATE: Michael Totten has an excellent posting here

    UPDATE: "Doc Russia" has an eye opening blog also

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 04, 2005

    Paul Krugman Revisited - Or Is That Re-Revisited?

    Regular readers of this blog will recall a couple of postings (here and here - go ahead, click and read - you know you want to) I did on Krugman and his prognostications regarding social security. I think, as an economist he is a good columnist and as a columnist, he'd make a great dogcatcher.

    Tom Maguire of Just One Minute has up an "Anniversary" post in honor of the great dogcatcher whoops - I really meant Economist, well, OK, I meant dogcatcher!

    Telling grafs?

    Almost exclusively because we have a Dark Heart, we want to get a head start on preparations for the second anniversary of Paul Krugman's bold interest forecast. Roll the tape from March 11, 2003, please; his lead:

    With war looming, it's time to be prepared. So last week I switched to a fixed-rate mortgage. It means higher monthly payments, but I'm terrified about what will happen to interest rates once financial markets wake up to the implications of skyrocketing budget deficits.

    Well. Per the Federal Reserve, I see that mortgage rates were 5.67% on March 7, and 5.61% on March 14, 2003.

    Today, despite the war, financial markets continue to slumber - as of March 3, 2005, the Federal Reserve tells me that fixed rate mortgages were at 5.79%.

    And it only gets worse from that point on. Here's a bit more:

    Perhaps the Earnest Prof is a bit stronger when forecasting equities? Let's check his stock market call of June 20, 2003; with the S&P 500 closing at 994.7 on June 19, 2003, Krugman wrote this:

    The big rise in the stock market is definitely telling us something. Bulls think it says the economy is about to take off. But I think it's a sign that America is still blowing bubbles — that a three-year bear market and the biggest corporate scandals in history haven't cured investors of irrational exuberance yet.

    Or, to put it another way: it's hard to find any real news to justify the market's leap. Instead, investors seem to be buying stocks because they are rising — which is pretty much the definition of a bubble.

    As of this writing on March 4, 2005, the S&P is at 1221, up 11 on a good jobs report.


    isn't that special? Krugman is wrong so frequently that he makes Wrong Way Corrigan look perfectly on target flying west, as he thought he was.

    So, joining Mr. Maquire, I lift my voice in song and sing

    Happy Anniversary to you!
    Happy Anniversary to you!
    Happy Anniversary to you!

    UPDATE: Fastidious, furious, featured commenter "reg" (he of Marc Cooper fame) takes issue with this post... good, lively debate never hurt anyone. But, methinks brother reg doesn't really like conservatives in general or republicans in particular, so, I'm putting up a link to someone who knows money (a CPA) vs. someone who is theoretical by training (economist). So, Read this entire posting and marvel at how terribly wrong the left can be in choosing their shibboleths. I present: (Ta, Da, Drum roll please professor) Dennis The Peasant
    And at tip of the Chapeau to Glen Reynolds, the Instapundit

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:33 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

    Blogs Recently Discovered: Dr. Sanity

    Scrolling through the blogosphere the other day, chasing perhaps a wayward thought, or perhaps just dropping off some garbage that had been cluttering up my memories, I came across a blog named Dr. Sanity..... "WHO!!!!!" I thought, someone else in the psycho-therapy business, another shrink (shrinkette?)and conservative to boot? Well, my day was made.

    The majority of, people if asked the political persuasion of psychiatrists, counselors, psychologists, social workers, other do-gooders will say "why, liberal of course." They would be right, the vast majority are indeed pretty liberal in their thinking, routinely vote democratic and otherwise inhabit the left side of the political spectrum.

    So, how come there are many of us of a conservative "stripe" as it were? When I'm asked "How can you be a counselor and be conservative or republican?" my standard response is "Because I learned how to think." That is absolutely true. The vast majority of "liberals" or "leftists" or "progressives" are feelers, not thinkers. They dress up their feelings in goodly rhetoric, but it's still feeling good about feeling good. I have the deep down conviction that Dr. Santy can also think. Come to think of it, one of my favorite pundits is Charles Krauthammer, also a psychiatrist. Yeppers, between the three of us we got the left "whooped." (well, maybe not whooped, but would you believe worried?)

    But, I digress, Back to Dr. Sanity. Pat Santy is a medical doc who is a board certified psychiatrist. She was born in New Jersy and grew up in California. After medical school and ancillary training, she became a flight surgeon (and is a pilot - though not flying much) for NASA and was the crew doc on the Challenger mission.

    I remember looking on with ever growing horror at the realization that the Challenger had exploded. I can only imagine the sense of loss that Dr. Santy must have felt being intimately related to the process and people. Dr. Santy blogged about that experience and having read it, I can only hope everyone else will too.

    Dr. Santy blogs a terrific blog, I'm hoping that this will generate a lot of traffic for her, she comes across as smart as a whip, and has a good sense of humor. Go, Read, and Enjoy!

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 03, 2005

    Fun with Illusions

    The following are all optical illusions. See how you "see" them.

    See the Baby?

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

    March 02, 2005

    Humor Time, Military Style

    The following are real, uproarously real

    AIM TOWARD THE ENEMY." - Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher



    "IF THE ENEMY IS IN RANGE, SO ARE YOU." - Infantry Journal



    "TRACERS WORK BOTH WAYS." - U.S. Army Ordnance


    -Infantry Journal





    Posted by GM Roper at 08:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Michael Totten - On Target

    Michael Totten has an entry up regarding the upheavel in Lebanon that is exactly on track. He notes:

    I wouldn’t say the Berlin Wall has fallen. I won’t say that until it looks like the Terror War has come to an end. But perhaps this is the end of the beginning. At least it’s the beginning of a new and interesting chapter. The Brett Scowcrofts and Henry Kissingers of the world think it’s a lousy idea to destabilize tyrannical parts of the globe. This week reminds me – in spades – why I just can’t subscribe to their worldview.
    Michael was the First blog I happened on, I don't remember where I learned about his blog, but I do remember thinking "This guys got it."

    I knew next to nothing about blogs at the time except for occasional viewing at Instapundit. But, though Glen Reynolds is the "grand-daddy" (in terms of longevity on the web, not age) of blogging, mostly he presents snippits and seldom lengthy thoughts (but, when he does, or when he posts at Tech Central Station - Wow!). Michael on the other hand, presented material that grabbed and held from the first paragraph... and Michael ALSO posts at TCS.

    Michael also introduced me to Marc Coopers blog and Marc has become my pal, and ultimately, the one who encouraged me to start this blog. So, in a way, this blog is Michael's fault because he grabbed my awareness, sent me to Cooper and got me thinking. And, in the long run, isn't that what blogs are supposed to do? Get you thinking? Michael Totten's blog does just that.

    Michael, thanks for the many hours of fine reading.

    Now, back to the subject at hand. As Michael noted, "...this may not be the end of the beginning, but it IS the beginning of something new." Watching, reading and listening to those who from the first "millions will starve in Afghanistan during the first winter." to "Democracy can't spread to the middle east, these people are just not ready for it" I have thought that far too many folk are underestimating the power of the smell of freedom and democracy. Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Palistine, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia (though women don't have, yet, the right to vote) is absolutely something new. Syria turns over Saddam Hussein's half brother, pulls back in Lebanon (but not out), Mubarak agreeing to allow opposition candidates after him being "president" since 1981 and grooming his son to take over a heretofore assumed hereditary presidency. Kofi Annan admitting that perhaps there is too much corruption in the UN and even, if you can believe it, Nancy Soderburg admitting she want's Republicans to fail though as an American, she want's us to win. What is equally if not more amazing Jon Stewart was unrelenting in attacking her positon and noting the increasingly liklihood of Bush having been right all along.

    As MJT said "...this may not be the end of the beginning, but it IS the beginning of something new."

    On Target Michael, On Target!

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    March 01, 2005

    Marc Cooper Chides The Left - Once Again Into The Breach

    Marc Cooper once again goes against the grain in the world of the left, knocking down the Leftist Shibboleths as fast as they are set up. As a conservative, and I think a patriot, I'm glad that someone of the "progressive" persuasion is taking on this task, for I think it will eventually make for a better Democratic Party, and thus offer more to America.

    His lastest post, titled "Dreaming of Elephants -- Thinking of Jackasses" (here) takes on the left, in particular George Lakoff who wrote Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

    In his missive "Thinking of Jackasses: The grand delusions of the Democratic Party"(here if you subscribe to Atlantic Monthly - here if you don't)Cooper states

    "In his best-selling manual of progressive political advice, Don't Think of an Elephant!, Lakoff asserts that political consciousness, and therefore voter choice, is determined by deeply wired mental structures—"frames"—that reflect more-general views and values. "The frames," Lakoff writes, "are in the synapses of our brains, physically present in the form of neural circuitry." Notwithstanding this neuroscientific hooey, Lakoff suggests that reframing American politics according to liberal values—in essence rewiring our collective circuitry—is but a matter of simple wordplay. When conservatives invoke "strong defense," liberals, Lakoff says, must reframe the concept by referring to a "stronger America." Instead of "free markets," liberals should speak of "broad prosperity." Likewise, "smaller government" must be recast as "effective government," and "family values" as "mutual responsibility." Those greedy "trial lawyers" excoriated by the right should be reframed and praised as brave and selfless "public-protection attorneys." And perhaps most important, when conservatives start promoting more Bushian "tax relief," liberals should respond by defending taxes as "membership fees" or "investments" in America."
    Cooper gets it right, the Democratic Party in particular and those who inhabit the left in general tend to have "in psychological parlance" an External Locus of Control. That is to say that the. Individual believes that his/her behavior is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances.

    In this case, the external circumstances are all of the stupid red-staters who got sucked in by the nefarious rantings and lies of George Walker Bush and Karl Rove. In addition, Cooper believes, as we all should, that the left as Democrat needs to become more effective in getting the message of the left to the American People. To date, they have not.

    In fact, the message the left has put out has been thouroughly looked at by the majority of voting Americans and soundly rejected. Typically, in the new political paradigm of not listening to the other side, casting the other side in the role of the evil one and other inane, though probably quite sincere (and totally inaccurate), terms (and by the way, those of you on the right, you have done it too, in spades).

    The left has a hard time understanding that red staters are not stupid sheeple. They heard the arguments of the left and discarded them as being insincere: Kerry's "I have a plan to end the war in Iraq." or, as being ridiculous "My name is John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty," delivered with a salute that no serviceman could possibly use and only Gilligan could match.

    To deliver a progressive message, the left needs to develop an "Internal Locus of Control" one in which the individual believes that his/her behavior is guided by his/her personal decisions and efforts. That, dear readers, is the message, essentially, of the Republicans - internally motivated towards being self sufficient, responsible, and honest (even if some people in the Republican party are not.)

    Now, don't go crying "Bush lied" because you know that dog won't hunt. Mistakes, likely. Using inaccurate intelligence, absolutely. But no plan outlasts the first contact with an enemy and the intelligence was believed by the majority of the western powers, russia and quite a number of Middle Eastern nations. It was believed and touted by the Democrats when Clinton was President. When America began hearing "Liar, Liar" around the clock, they looked around, read, listened to what others had said in the past and currently and pulled that lever for Bush. It's that simple (on this issue that is).

    I'm saluting Cooper for a job well done. I hope (and pray) that he keeps it up long enough for cooler heads in the Democratic Party take their party back - as opposed to someone like Howard Dean who recently said "... a fight between good and evil and we're the good guys." He also said "I hate Republicans."

    With Friends like Dean, Kerry and Lakoff, the Democrats really don't need any enemys.

    UPDATE: Robert Byrd, pugnacious pronouncer of punditry in the US Senate has continued to use "hate speech" on the sentate floor. From his latest, a screed against President Bush as "Hitler."

    Hitler’s originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.
    Byrd is an embarrassment to the Democrats, but, apparantly their so called big tent allows for hate-filled yo-yo's like Byrd. Yeppers, with friends like this, they don't need enemys (HT to PoliPundit)

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

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